Boston vs Montreal, Game 3

Sunday, April 11th, 2004 @ 10:33 pm | Sports

Still 14 to go.

The Canadiens halved the Bruins lead in their best of 7 playoff series with a 3 – 2 victory.

Montreal came out flying at the start of the game. In fact, the first period was a polar opposite of game 1 in Boston.

In addition to missing Ted Donato with a broken foot, Michael Nylander was scratched from the lineup with flu-like symptoms. As a result, the Bruins were very disjointed as the new line combinations got comfortable.

Apparently, I was wrong in predicting that Donato’s replacement would come from either Michael Grosek or Doug Doull. Neither dressed, as Mike Sullivan chose to play Andy Hilbert and Craig MacDonald.

Hilbert ended up scoring the Bruins first goal (his first career playoff goal) from the right faceoff circle. In hindsight, I can now see that Doull would have been a bad choice for this game as the Canadiens speedy players would have skated circles around him while he was on the ice.

Nylander had two great games while the series was in Boston. If he’s out for an extended period, it could really hurt the Bruins.

Somebody apparently gave Alexie Kovalev the news that he was traded to Montreal, because he woke up and scored the Canadiens’ first 2 goals of the evening. The goals were the first non-empty-net goals scored by Kovalev since he was acquired from the New York Rangers.

A good deal of the Canadiens chances in this series rest on whether Kovalev’s revival is more of an enduring flame than an ephemeral spark.

The Bruins’ youngsters did everything in their power to make keep the Bruins in the game. Patrice Bergeron nearly tied the game in the third on a diving tip attempt that went just wide of the net. Andrew Raycroft followed that up with an amazing save on a Mike Ribeiro‘s wrap-around attempt. Raycroft was on the ice at the left post and dove to the right to shut down Ribeiro.

If I were a Canadiens fan, I’d be concerned about Jose Theodore. He made a number of tough saves tonight, but he probably should have saved both Hilbert and Brian Rolston‘s goals. Both shots came from the top of the faceoff circle and Theodore had a relatively clear view of the shooters.

It’s a little weird watching the games on TV again. At some points, I wanted to yell at the screen about camera selection. However, I was more annoyed by the camera locations in the Bell Centre (web site renders incorrectly in Safari). At many points during the game, the cameras were blocked by people’s heads. Much of the action in the final minutes was blocked.

From my seats at the FleetCenter, I miss some of the action along the near boards. It’s slightly annoying, but nowhere near as bad as the camera angles at the Bell Centre.

Game 3. Tuesday night, 7 PM.

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