Boston Bruins fans knew that all good things would come to an end. Unfortunately, the team that ended the Bruins' good thing was their hated rivals the Canadiens.
Alex Galchenyuk, the third overall pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, scored the only shootout goal in the fourth round, giving the Canadiens a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. The win snapped Boston's 12-game winning streak, which was just two games shy of their franchise record set in 1929-30. The Canadiens took three out of the four meetings with the Bruins, and have now won six out of the last seven meetings overall.
Peter Budaj made 28 saves during regulation and overtime, adding four more saves in the shootout for the win. Budaj stopped Patrice Bergeron, Jarome Iginla, Brad Marchand, and David Krejci in the shootout. Thomas Vanek, David Desharnais, and Daniel Briere were all stopped by Bruins' goalie Tuukka Rask prior to Galchenyuk's game-winner. Rask had 21 saves for the Bruins.
Both goals during regulation came on deflections by Bruins' players. Montreal got the scoring started on a power play in the first period. After Bruins' defenseman Kevan Miller was called for a cross-checking penalty, Miller and Canadiens' winger Travis Moen engaged in an exciting fight which ended in Moen being knocked down by a Miller punch. On the subsequent man-advantage, the Canadiens worked the puck around the top of the Bruins' zone, with Briere and Alexei Emelin exchanging passes near the blue line. Emelin fired a shot in on Rask that was deflected by the stick of Chris Kelly and into the Bruins' net for a 1-0 Montreal lead.
After a back and forth second period that saw neither team light the lamp, the Bruins took advantage of a string of power-play chances to tie the game at 1-1. After going 0-for-3 on their first three opportunities in the third period, the combination of Dougie Hamilton and Bergeron finally got a puck by Budaj and into the Montreal net. The Bruins utilized the umbrella set, with Hamilton at the center, Reilly Smith on the left and Loui Eriksson on the right. They worked the puck around the umbrella, with Smith passing to Hamilton, who passed to Eriksson, who passed it back to Hamilton at the point. Hamilton hesitated before taking a wrist shot, which was deflected by Bergeron and a Canadiens' defender by Budaj for the equalizer.
The Bruins dominated the overtime period, utilizing lines consisting of three forwards and only one defenseman throughout the five minute 4-on-4 period. Brad Marchand and David Krejci were standouts in the extra frame, showing off a plethora of moves and using their speed to create openings for shots and quality chances, but could not seal the deal for the Bruins.
The Bruins will look to rebound from their first loss since March 1st on Thursday night when they host the defending Stanley Cup Champions the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blackhawks beat the Bruins in a shootout, 3-2, on January 19th in Chicago, and defeated the B's in six games in the Finals last season.