|BOS||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
|MTL||0||0||0||(null - null)||1|
MONTREAL (AP) -The Boston Bruins swept aside their longtime rivals and a decade's worth of playoff frustration.
Former Montreal forward Michael Ryder scored twice and assisted on David Krejci's goal to help Boston complete a four-game sweep of the Canadiens with a 4-1 victory Wednesday night.
Tim Thomas made 26 saves, and Phil Kessel also scored for the Bruins, who won the Eastern Conference quarterfinal for their first playoff series win in 10 years.
"Yeah, it's definitely a good feeling to beat your old team here in Montreal and make it the last one," said Ryder, who signed as a free agent after he was a healthy scratch for all but four of the Canadiens' 12 playoff games last season. "I kind of actually forgot about what happened last year. I'm a Bruin now and it's a lot of fun."
Top-seeded Boston had lost five straight series - falling to Montreal in 2002, '04 and '08 - since beating Carolina in the first round in 1999.
"Since I got here that was the goal and we tried to improve every year and tried to get better," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara, who left Ottawa as a free agent to sign with Boston for the 2006-07 season.
"Obviously, the first year we didn't make the playoffs and the second year we lost in Game 7, now this year we're moving on to the second round but I don't think, 'This is it, we should be satisfied.' We all know we have to go towards the goal and this is just the first step."
Andrei Kostitsyn gave Montreal a 1-0 lead 39 seconds in and the Canadiens dominated the scoring chances in the opening period, outshooting Boston 16-7.
The Bruins, though, went to the dressing room with a 2-1 lead after Ryder and Krejci scored 1:58 apart late in the period.
"That's always the goal, to be tied or be ahead after the first, especially on the road," Chara said. "That puts a lot of pressure on the home team and you know that going into the second period that it's always tougher for them because they know they're one goal behind and they have to press even more, so you just to be patient and play smart."
Kessel extended the lead to 3-1 when he stepped out of the penalty box and drove the right side before putting a low shot past Carey Price 11:58 into the second for his fourth goal in four games.
Ryder, who scored the winner Monday night in a 4-2 victory, got his second of the game - his fourth of the series - at 12:43 when he scored off a Krejci's cross-ice pass.
Montreal completed its 100th season with eight straight losses, including its last four regular-season games.
"They came in first in the conference for a reason," Canadiens left wing Christopher Higgins said. "They've got a lot of depth on that team and they play well as a unit so it's no surprise why they played as solidly against us as they did in the series."
The fans gave Price a sarcastic cheer when he stopped Chuck Kobasew's 80-foot dump-in 15:38 into the second.
The sophomore goalie raised his arms above his head, offering the crowd the same response Patrick Roy gave when he was subjected to similar mock cheers on his way to allowing nine goals in what would prove to be the future Hall of Famer's final game with the Canadiens, an 11-1 loss to Detroit at the Montreal Forum on Dec. 2, 1995.
"I suppose he could have kept his cool and not made any gesture towards the crowd, but on the other hand when you're being bullied, basically, if you don't stand up for yourself, who's going to?" Canadiens GM and coach Gainey said. "By my count he must have had three or four breakaways to stop in the second period so where is the basis for the jeering coming from?"
Price went the distance and made 26 saves. He started all four games, though he was pulled in Game 2 after allowing five goals through the first two periods.
The sold-out Bell Centre crowd was squarely behind the Canadiens at the outset when Kostitsyn took Saku Koivu's pass and beat Thomas with a partially screened shot into the top right corner.
Ryder tied it at 1 with his third goal of the series with 2:33 remaining in the first. Canadiens defenseman Roman Hamrlik pushed the puck forward into the slot and Ryder jumped on the opportunity to drive a one-timer past Price.
Krejci worked a give-and-go with Ryder to set up the second goal, taking his linemates return pass to score into a wide open left side with 34.4 seconds left in the opening period.
Milan Lucic returned to the Bruins' lineup after serving a one-game league suspension Monday and fought with Mike Komisarek late in the second.
Komisarek got a major and a game misconduct 12:39 into the third for cross-checking Lucic. Komisarek missed 16 games from Nov. 15 to Dec. 16 after injuring his shoulder in a fight with Lucic.
Notes: It was the Bruins' first series sweep since they beat Montreal four straight in the 1992 Adams Division final. ... Boston beat the Canadiens for just the eighth time in 32 playoff meetings between the longtime rivals. ... Bruins RW Byron Bitz was left out of the lineup. Bitz replaced Lucic in the lineup Monday and recorded an assist in his playoff debut. ... LW Alex Tanguay was unable to play for Montreal. A game-time decision, he missed his second straight game because of an upper body injury. Earlier Wednesday, Canadiens GM and coach Bob Gainey ruled out a return by defensemen Andrei Markov and Mathieu Schneider. Markov has been out since missing the last four games of the regular season with a knee injury, and Schneider was unable to play Monday or Wednesday because of an injured shoulder.
|Andrei Kostitsyn (1) ASST: Saku Koivu (3), Alex Kovalev (1)|
1 - 0 MTL
|Michael Ryder (3) ASST: NONE|
1 - 1 Tie
|David Krejci (2) ASST: Michael Ryder (3), Milan Lucic (3)|
2 - 1 BOS
|Phil Kessel (4) ASST: Patrice Bergeron (2)|
3 - 1 BOS
|Michael Ryder (4) ASST: David Krejci (3), Dennis Wideman (4)|
4 - 1 BOS
|Ryan O'Byrne Roughing against Michael Ryder|
|Michael Ryder Hooking against Chris Higgins|
|Tom Kostopoulos Interference against Mark Stuart|
|Milan Lucic Hi-sticking against Josh Gorges|
|Georges Laraque Roughing against Milan Lucic|
|Phil Kessel Slashing against Guillaume Latendresse|
|Maxim Lapierre Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Mike Komisarek Fighting (maj) against Milan Lucic|
|Milan Lucic Fighting (maj) against Mike Komisarek|
|Saku Koivu Holding against Patrice Bergeron|
|Mike Komisarek Cross checking (maj) against Milan Lucic|
|Mike Komisarek Game misconduct|
|Georges Laraque Too many men/ice - bench|
|SA: 27||TOI: 59:59|
|Saves: 26||EV: 21 - 22|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 1|
|SV%: .963||SH: 4 - 4|
|SA: 30||TOI: 59:59|
|Saves: 26||EV: 21 - 25|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 5|
|SV%: .867||SH: 0 - 0|