Michael Cammalleri and Brian Gionta scored power-play goals and Carey Price made 31 saves as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 and avoided elimination at home on Tuesday night.
The two teams will have less than 24 hours to prepare for the decisive game in their Eastern Conference quarter-final matchup as the puck drops for Game 7 on Wednesday night in Boston.
Both Montreal goals came with a 5-on-3 advantage as Cammalleri scored on a one-timer in the first period and the Richmond Hill, Ont. native also picked up an assist when Gionta stuffed home his rebound in the second.
Dennis Seidenberg scored the lone goal for Boston and Tim Thomas made 25 saves.
Montreal appeared to opening the scoring three and a half minutes into the game when Gionta jammed home a loose rebound but referee Kevin Pollock couldn’t see the puck and blew the whistle early. The Montreal crowd let the official have it with a thunder of boos and threw rally towels and even a rubber chicken onto the ice.
The boos turned to cheers when Boston took a too many men penalty and Seidenberg slashed Cammalleri’s stick in half to give Montreal a 5-on-3 advantage. Cammalleri put the Habs on the board for good, firing home a one-timer from P.K. Subban at 10:07.
Boston had a power play near the end of the first when Andrei Kostitsyn hooked Michael Ryder but it was short-lived as Patrice Bergeron skated into Price and was called for goaltender interference with eight seconds left in the period.
During 4-on-4 play, Seidenberg scored a wrap-around goal on Price’s short side 48 seconds into the middle frame to tie the game 1-1.
Just over four minutes into the second, Milan Lucic was ejected from the game when he drove Jaroslav Spacek from behind into the glass and was assessed a five-minute penalty for boarding and a game misconduct.
Sixteen seconds into the power play, Bergeron flipped the puck over the glass and Montreal was awarded another 5-on-3 opportunity. Cammalleri put the puck on net, Scott Gomez whacked at the rebound and Gionta buried it for his third goal of the series at 5:48 to put Montreal ahead 2-1.
Spacek returned to the game and was called for hooking at 16:26 but the Habs controlled the puck and Nathan Horton slashed Tomas Plekanec to put his team down a man as well. Gomez, who has yet to score in the series, went hard to the net but fired wide. Plekanec had another chance but Thomas slid and made a toe save to prevent the insurance marker.
At the other end of the ice, Price scrambled on the ice and Chara slid the puck under Price’s arm but Brad Marchand couldn’t put it between the pipes and hit the post.
Boston outshot Montreal 11-6 in the third but the Habs held on for the crucial win.
Notes: David Desharnais (sprained knee) and James Wisniewski (lower body) were both out for Montreal. They were replaced in the lineup by Yannick Weber and Paul Mara respectively. … Boston’s power play continued its drought, finishing 0-for-4 on the night, and is now 0-for-19 in the series. … Lars Eller was crushed in the first by Adam McQuaid and appeared to suffer an injured shoulder but returned later in the period.