Habs head home with one win to go

Tuesday, 15.04.2008 / 10:19 PM / News
Associated Press
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Habs head home with one win to go

BOSTON (AP) -Patrice Brisebois snapped a scoreless tie late in the second period, rookie Carey Price posted his first playoff shutout as the Montreal Canadiens moved within one game of advancing with a 1-0 win over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.

The Canadiens, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, lead the best-of-seven, first-round series 3-1 and can wrap it up at home Thursday night.

The teams played evenly for much of the hard-hitting, fast-paced game until Brisebois scored on a power play with 42 seconds left in the second period.

Then Price continued doing what he had done throughout the series: shut down Boston's mediocre offense.

Price, the fifth overall pick in the 2005 draft, stopped 27 shots as he tries to become the third rookie goalie to lead the Canadiens to a Stanley Cup, following Ken Dryden and Patrick Roy.

He stopped two solid bids in the second period even before Brisebois scored.

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At 10:55 he got in front of Glen Murray's point-blank shot. And six minutes later, he stopped a shot by Glen Metropolit from the top of the crease as the Bruins swarmed around the net.

The Canadiens, who have trailed just once in winning 10 of 11 games against the Bruins this season, went ahead midway through a power play after Andrew Ference was sent off for tripping.

Andrei Kostitsyn skated behind the Boston net and fed the puck just in front of the crease. It was deflected out to Brisebois, who beat goalie Tim Thomas.

The previous two games had gone into overtime - a 3-2 win by the Canadiens and a 2-1 win by the Bruins - but Boston couldn't make it three in a row.

Price has allowed just five goals in the four games, while the Canadiens have scored nine to continue their season-long dominance of Boston. They never trailed in winning all eight of the regular-season matchups and the first two playoff games, starting with a 4-1 win in Montreal in which the Bruins were held to just 18 shots.

After losing the first two games, the Bruins returned for their first home playoff game since 2004, when they were eliminated by the Canadiens and current Boston coach Claude Julien.

The Bruins took their first lead against Montreal this season on a goal by Milan Lucic 6 1/2 minutes into Game 3. That lasted until 4:26 of the second when Tom Kostopoulos tied it. Marc Savard's goal won it in overtime.

Now the Bruins, in the playoffs for just the fourth time since 1999, are one loss away from being eliminated in the first round for the third straight time.

Notes:Phil Kessel, Boston's third leading goal scorer in the regular season, was a healthy scratch for the third straight game. ... Right wing Michael Ryder did not play for the first time in the series as rookie Ryan O`Byrne made his playoff debut and Mark Streit was moved up to forward. ... Players from Boston College's NCAA championship team, wearing their jerseys, took the ice to be introduced during a timeout 13 minutes into the game.