Boston looks to even the series or fall dangerously behind in Game 4 tonight in Montreal.

The Boston Bruins may not be out of the woods but at least now they have a map.  The Bruins jumped out in front with barely 3 minutes elapsed in Game 3 and silenced the Bell Centre crowd.  It was Boston who would control the pace of the game and their captain Big Z, Zdeno Chara, was a big boost after missing Game 2 with an illness coupled with dehydration.  After 60 minutes of play the Bruins came away with a 4-2 victory and the empty netter by Bruin Chris Kelly proved to be our undoing as we thought the Under 5 was the play to put a few bucks in our pockets. 

Carey PriceMontreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens looked unprepared on Monday night and that was exactly the message standout goaltender Carey Price delivered to his mates after the game.  Price had stopped 65 of 66 Bruins shots prior to Game 3 and he was the main reason why the Canadiens held a 2-0 series advantage headed into the game.  However, the numbers eventually catch up and the B’s poured it on again, outshooting Montreal 36-24 and this time the results on the scoreboard were indicative of the shots on goal.  The Canadiens do two things better than the Bruins.  They kill more penalties when shorthanded and score more goals when they’re on the power play.  Though their penalty killing unit has been perfect, 11 for 11, their power play unit has been experiencing a power outage, going 1 for 11 when given the man advantage.  If the Canadiens are looking to advance, they must be more opportunistic because on a level playing field (or ice if you’d like), the Bruins are bigger, stronger and deeper. 

Tim Thomas for the Boston BruinsBoston Bruins

The Boston Bruins spent their two day respite at Lake Placid, practicing at the site of the 1980 Miracle on Ice and out of the crosshairs of the Montreal press corps.  It’s a brilliant tactic by coach Claude Julien and it will be interesting to see if the B’s can carry that momentum from Monday night’s victory into tonight’s tilt in Montreal.

The Bruins have been better on the road than at home this year as evidenced by their 22-13-6 record at home versus their 24-12-5 record on the road.  Therefore, it shouldn’t surprise many who have been following Boston this year that they prevailed on the highway yet again.  However, what is more important is the fact that the Bruins have been dominating in the offensive end.  Not just in Game 3 but in all three games of this 2011 NHL playoff series.  Quite simply, Canadiens netminder Carey Price has outplayed his counterpart, Boston’s Tim Thomas.  Thomas has not played poorly by any stretch but Price has simply stoned the Boston offense.  However, the tide may in fact be turning.  The Bruins outshot Montreal 31-20 in game, 35-26 in Game 2 and 36-24 in Game 3.  I realize the only stat that matters is the scoreboard but it is hard to ignore this kind of domination without it factoring into a decision concerning Game 4. 

The bottomline is that the Bruins are outplaying the Canadiens and have only a 2-1 deficit to show for it.  I look for Thomas to steal the spotlight from Price and the Bruins offense to wear down Montreal while the Bruins defense beats up the Canadien attackers.  Chara is now healthy and the B’s smell blood.  The better team wins and we back Boston to even the series tonight in Montreal, the talk in the forum is of the under.