The Boston Bruins powered their way to victory on home ice in game five of their series against the Montreal Canadiens. The Bruins now take the 3-2 series lead back to Montreal where they can advance to their second consecutive Eastern Conference Final with a win on Monday.
Tonight’s win for Boston came as the result of a number of big improvements in the team’s play. Their offensive possession was much smarter, and the B’s forwards were able to move the puck around Montreal’s strong defense and set up some great scoring chances in front of Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.
The Bruins have been playing well offensively in this series but they have been missing the mark when scoring chances present themselves. Playing a team like Montreal, you need to finish just about every chance you get, they do not come very often.
Tonight, the Bruins got off on the right foot and took a 1-0 lead in the first period when Loui Eriksson connected with fellow Swedish linemate Carl Söderberg for a goal. Both Eriksson and Söderberg were key pieces to the puzzle in tonight’s win. Each player scored a goal, and assisted on each other’s tally. That’s usually a pretty good sign that their offensive line is doing pretty well. Söderberg also assisted on a goal scored by Reilly Smith in the second period, which helped him earn the honor of first star of the game.
Alongside the dynamic Swedish duo on the third line tonight was 23-year-old Matt Fraser. Fraser was recalled from Providence prior to Thursday’s game in Montreal, and it turned out to be a great move by the Bruins. The young forward tapped in the game-winning goal in overtime for the Bruins in game four, and added an assist on the Bruins’ fourth goal tonight. You can bet he’ll be sticking around after his impressive performance through two games.
Fraser reflected on his line’s success following the win:
“You just kind of roll with it and it’s amazing what a little confidence can do with a line, and they’re fun guys to play with. They work well with the puck, and I just try and kind of read off them and find the open areas.”
“Everyone in this dressing room is so talented. It’s hard not to click. Everyone is so good. Everyone, that’s obviously why they’re in the NHL. As a guy being inserted in a line you just want to make that transition easy for them and find the open areas.”
The Bruins can be dangerous when they use their offensive tools the right way. With the third line stepping up the way it has, it puts the team in a good position of confidence moving forward.
The Bruins will look to end the series in Montreal on Monday night when they face the Canadiens in game six.