Habs keep on comin'

AL STRACHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 12:03 PM ET

 Tomorrow is a monster sports day in Boston.

 The Red Sox are playing the New York Yankees. The Boston Marathon will be run.

  And in the evening, thanks to the Montreal Canadiens, the Bruins will be playing Game 7 in their Eastern Conference quarter-final against the Habs.

 Last night's Game 6 in Montreal was everything it was expected to be -- hard-fought, exciting and in doubt right until the final seconds.

 But eventually, the Canadiens defeated the Bruins 5-2, the margin of victory inflated by two empty-net goals in the final 41 seconds. Until then, it was a nail-biter all the way.

 It was the Canadiens' lesser lights who led the way with Darren Langdon getting their first goal and Yanic Perreault the winner. Both skated with the "Black Aces" on Friday.

 In between, captain Saku Koivu scored the goal that put the Canadiens in front to stay.

 And the rest of the time, everyone chipped in with a solid effort. As coach Claude Julien likes to say, "There were no passengers."

 After Perreault's goal, the Canadiens squandered a host of chances and when Sergei Samsonov, by far the best Bruin on the ice, scored his second of the night early in the third period, it was beginning to look as if the Canadiens might regret their profligacy.

 But they held on, and as far as Koivu was concerned, Boston goalie Andrew Raycroft had a lot to do with preventing the Canadiens from extending their margin.

 "He made some good saves," Koivu said. "We just had to keep working and hope that it would go in. You've got to give credit to that goalie. He has been battling and he made some good saves."

 There wasn't much to report from the Boston side. They broke all land-speed records -- not to mention all the league rules regarding media availability -- to get out of the building in a hurry. Had they showed such enthusiasm throughout the game, they would have been easy victors.

 The media horde sprinting after the departing Bruins caught up with Nick Boynton who said, "It's a one-game series now. I thought we were the better team (last night), but a couple of rebounds hurt us."

 The mood was much lighter in the Montreal room, especially in the area where Langdon sits. The likable Newfoundlander hadn't scored since 2001, and the goal had to stand up to a video review because of the possibility that he might have kicked it in.

 "I guess the refs said, 'Jeez. That was Langer that scored. We'd better check that one.' " Langdon said.

 Langdon said there would be a celebration in the bar he owns in Newfoundland.

 "I know in my little bar, we give a free round for the house when I score," he said. "That doesn't cost too much."

 The Bruins opened the scoring when Patrice Bergeron won a faceoff and slid the puck to Samsonov who snapped a shot that hit Jose Theodore's pads but went between his legs. It fell into the crease and rolled slowly towards the line. The crowd screamed, but Theodore couldn't recover in time.

 But Langdon tied it, and early in the second period, Andrei Markov laid a pass out front to Koivu. Although Koivu didn't get all of it, he got enough to slide it between Raycroft's legs to put the Canadiens in front.

 The Canadiens continued to apply the pressure and Perreault blistered a shot into the upper corner to push the score to 3-1.

 However, early in the third, Samsonov went around Patrice Brisebois and beat Theodore with a lovely shot.

 But that was as close as the Bruins could come. Alex Kovalev and Jan Bulis scored into an empty net, and Dave Loggins is going to get his wish. We're coming to Boston in the springtime.


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