It wasn’t the prettiest game, but the Montreal Canadiens eventually took control of the game and held on late for a 6-4 victory over the Boston Bruins in their home opener.
Brendan Gallagher and P.A. Parenteau scored twice for the Canadiens. Gallagher’s second goal – the Canadiens fifth – chased Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask from the game. Jiri Sekac scored his first NHL goal. Parenteau scored his first two in a Canadiens uniform. Max Pacioretty scored the other goal for the Canadiens.
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Parenteau’s second was an empty netter.
This was really a coming out party for the line of Rene Bourque, Lars Eller and Sekac. They controlled play despite having a lot of defensive zone face offs. The line has been criticized for being on the ice for goals against, but most of them weren’t the fault of the line itself.
They had a lot of scoring chances, including a really good shift right after Zdeno Chara opened the scoring on the power play, among others. They were hovering around 50 per cent even strength Corsi despite 33 per cent offensive zone starts.
Pacioretty’s goal was the Canadiens first power play goal of the season, and it wasn’t on a set play. Gallagher sprung David Desharnais on a break and the puck bounced off of Pacioretty’s skate.
Alexei Emelin returned to the lineup and set the tone early with a big hit on Milan Lucic and Lucic was stuck looking for revenge all night and took a penalty with under two minutes left when he went for the big hit on Emelin.
Emelin also made some nice blue-line stands.
Some eye brows were raised when Jarred Tinordi was in the lineup over Nathan Beaulieu but Tinordi and Weaver looked very good and were actually the top Corsi defensive pair for the Canadiens. They also only had 20 per cent offensive zone starts.
Carey Price made a lot of good saves for the Canadiens despite allowing four goals. He hasn’t gotten himself on top of his game yet, but as long as the team is winning, Price can be afforded some leeway. Make no mistake, though. Price made some key saves early in the game while the Canadiens were looking for their game.
It is now 4-1 for the Canadiens through five games and while it may not be pretty, wins are wins and they can’t be taken away.