P-Bruins Fraser Lifts Boston Past Montreal In OT
Friday, May 09, 2014
Thank you Providence!
It had been a struggle for the Boston Bruins through the first three games of their Eastern Conference Semifinal Series with the Montreal Canadiens. The B's trailed the Habs two games to one heading into what was almost a must-win game four in Montreal Thursday night.
Wanting to shake things up a bit, the B's summoned winger Matt Fraser from Providence and placed him on the third line centered by Carl Soderberg. And it was that line that produced the game's only goal 1:19 into overtime for a crucial 1-0 Bruins win.
Fraser played 14 games for the Bruins this season, scoring two goals. He racked up 20 goals and 10 assists for 30 points in 44 games for the P-Bruins of the AHL. Providence is in the midst of the Calder Cup playoffs where Fraser already had scored three goals and dished out two assists.
This was a game more to Boston's liking in that it was a "heavy" game.
Neither team was able to muster up any great scoring chances and there were very few odd man rushes.
Boston's defensive pressure in the neutral zone was such that it forced Montreal to work the puck up the side boards as the center of the ice was essentially taken away from the Canadiens. It was a typical workman-like performance by the B's.
The win evens the series at 2-2 and brings the home ice advantage back to Boston.
The two teams will meet at 7pm Saturday night in game 5 at the TD Garden.
-For the second straight game, there were very few penalties and neither team scored on the power play. The Bruins were 0-2 and remain 0 for the series while Montreal went 0-1.
-Tuukka Rask was the #1 star of the game stopping all 33 shots he faced. His counterpart Carey Price stopped 34 of 35 shots on the night. Price was named the game's #2 star while Fraser was the third star of the game.
-Fraser, by the way, was a part of the trade with the Stars which sent Tyler Seguin to Dallas.
-Louis Eriksson was the key player acquired by Boston in that trade with Dallas. And, while Eriksson has struggled this season and postseason for Boston, fellow Swede Carl Soderberg has been one of the best players on the ice in this series for Boston. Soderberg's uses his size and long reach to keep the puck alive in the offensive zone and he isn't afraid to camp out in front of Carey Price.
-It will be interesting to see if ESPN's coverage of the 2014 NFL Draft took a chunk out of NBC Sports TV ratings Thursday night. By the way, in case you're wondering, the Houston Texans grabbed South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney with the top pick in the draft.
-A funny side note: Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel (aka Johnny Football) was considered to be a strong candidate for the #1 overall pick in the draft. Instead, Manziel plummetted down the draft board getting passed by team after team. On Facebook, a Bruins fan questioned whether the Bruins would score a goal in Montreal before Manziel was drafted. As it turned out, the B's did score before Manziel was selected by the Cleveland Browns. He was the 22nd pick overall.