The home team has lost each of the first four games in this Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. The ‘under’ has cashed twice in Boston, while the ‘over’ has taken the honors twice in Montreal.
Despite the home-ice failures, most sports books monitored by Don Best Sports’ Real-Time Odds have opened Boston as a hefty 185 home favorite. The total is set at five goals for this 4 p.m. (PT) contest, which will be televised by the Versus network.
Boston tied the series Thursday by recording a come-from-behind 5-4 overtime victory as a slight 107 road favorite. The combined nine goals meandered ‘over’ the five-goal closing total.
Michael Ryder scored 1:59 into overtime to give the Bruins the victory. Ryder, the former Canadiens winger who also scored in the second period, took Chris Kelly’s pass from behind the net and shot past Carey Price to give Boston its second victory in a row at Bell Centre.
Kelly, playing with a full cage after suffering a facial injury when he crashed into a goal post in Game 3, brought Boston even for the third time in the game by scoring a goal with 6:18 left in the third period. He put away a loose puck at his feet in the net for his second of the series.
Patrice Bergeron and Andrew Ference added goals for the Bruins, while Tim Thomas made 34 saves to raise his overall record to 37-13-4-5. Thomas has a 2.05 GAA, a sparkling .936 save percentage and nine shutouts.
Michael Cammalleri had a goal and two assists for Montreal, while Brent Sopel, Andrei Kostitsyn and P.K. Subban also scored. The Canadiens relinquished leads of 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3.
The statistics would indicate that the Canadiens stopped playing offense after Kostitsyn scored at 7:47 of the second period to put Montreal in front 3-1. At that point, the Canadiens were out-shooting the Bruins 14-4 in the middle period.
The Bruins had a 10-1 edge over the final 13 minutes. It was a similar story in the third period as the Bruins outshot the Canadiens 13-7 after Subban’s power-play goal gave Montreal a 4-3 lead.
Though the Habs finished Game 4 with a 38-35 advantage in shots on goal, they are getting outshot 126-120 in this series so far.
Montreal netminder Carey Price stopped 30 shots in a losing effort. Price fell to 40-20-5-2 overall with a 2.35 GAA and a .923 save percentage. He also has nine shutouts, including a 2-0 whitewashing of the Bruins in Game 1 of this series.
Jeff Halpern made his Canadiens playoff debut after missing the last four games of the regular season and the first three of the series because of a lower-body injury. Left winger Benoit Pouliot was scratched from the lineup to make room for Halpern.
Both squads have been very careful to stay out of the penalty box, and Game 4 was no different. The Habs were 1-for-2 with the man advantage, and are now just 2-for-14 in the series. The Bruins failed to score during their lone power play opportunity, and are now 0-for-12 in the series.
Montreal is 6-2 in its last eight trips to Boston and 11-5 in its last 16 overall outings against the Bruins. The ‘over’ is 5-2-2 in the past nine series meeting.