Michael Cammalleri and Mathieu Darche scored in the opening 2:20 of the game and Carey Price made 34 saves as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins 3-1 on Saturday night to give the Habs a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven series.
Boston squandered its home-ice advantage and will need to pick up a win on the road as the series heads to Montreal on Monday for Game 3.
The Bruins were missing their captain, Zdeno Chara, who was scratched from the lineup shortly before the game after an overnight hospital stay for dehydration.
Chara, the six-foot-nine all-star and 2009 Norris Trophy winner, was surely missed as his teammates fell behind early and couldn’t recover.
Boston defenceman Johnny Boychuk turned over the puck to James Wisniewski, who hammered a shot on Thomas and Cammalleri buried the rebound just 43 seconds into the game. The Richmond Hill native also picked up an assist 97 seconds later when Darche scored his first career playoff goal on the power play.
Bergeron tipped in Brad Marchand‘s shot for Boston’s first goal of the series at 7:38 of the second period.
Montreal restored their two-goal lead with 2:29 left in the middle frame when Weber backhanded a loose rebound past Thomas. Lars Eller assisted on Weber’s goal for his first playoff point.
Weber was a game-time replacement for Andrei Kostitsyn, who was scratched from the lineup after blocking a shot from Chara in Game 1.
The TD Garden crowd did not show any mercy and booed their hometown Bruins.
Coach Claude Julien pulled Thomas in the closing minutes of the third but it was all for naught as the Bruins failed to even register a shot on Price with the extra attacker.
If history is any indication, the Bruins will have a tough challenge ahead of them in Montreal. In 26 tries, Boston has never won a playoff series after falling behind 2-0.
NOTES: Montreal is 30-1-5 this season when leading after two periods … Canadiens defenceman Hal Gill played his 100th career playoff game but is still looking for his first post-season goal … Shane Hnidy replaced Chara in the Boston lineup but only saw 4:13 minutes of playing time and spent another five in the penalty box after fighting Wisniewski in the second period … Montreal forward Jeff Halpern was scratched from the lineup again due to a lower-body injury.