Bruins say they have found Carey Price's weakness

Canadiens goaltender Carey Price makes a save at his team's practice facility in Brossard on...

Canadiens goaltender Carey Price makes a save at his team's practice facility in Brossard on Monday, May 5, 2014. (Ben Pelosse/QMI Agency)

Chris Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:17 PM ET

MONTREAL - The Boston Bruins claim they have found a chink in the armour of Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.

Now, two games into the tied Atlantic Division final, there's some psychological jousting going on, though Price greeted the breakdown of his breakdown with a shrug.

Young Bruins defencemen Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug, who both scored on Price in their 5-3 victory in Game 2 Sunday to tie the series at one apiece, said when Price is screened, he gets low to try and pick up the puck, so they are shooting high and that will be the plan going into Game 3 Tuesday night in what will be an electric atmosphere at the Bell Centre.

"I think we've definitely noticed that when he's screened, he's looking low," said Hamilton. "He gets really low, so it seems like we score a lot of goals up high when we have net front presence. I don't know if we're really trying (to do that), but we've definitely noticed that. When we can get our shots through their defenceman -- especially the ones trying to block it -- we have a really good chance of getting it in."

That didn't strike Price as any kind of revelation and it shouldn't have, really.

"I've seen a lot of scouting reports on lots of goalies throughout the league and that's pretty much the scouting report on everybody. So it's the same for (Bruins goaltender) Tuukka (Rask), it's the same for me, it's the same for (Tampa's) Ben Bishop, it's the same for (Chicago's) Corey Crawford. It's a pretty irrelevant comment I thought," said Price.

When asked if the Bruins were engaging in some kind of psychological warfare, Price replied:

"Sure. I don't know. I don't know, I guess. Like I said, they can try it and it's going to be no different. That's essentially how most goals are scored in this league at this time of year. So it's a pretty generic comment," he said.

"It's a pretty general statement at this time of year. If you look at all the goals that are scored throughout the playoffs, probably 30% of them are tips and 50% of them are screens and the other 10 (%) are just clean shots."

Hamilton beat Price high through a screen to start the Bruins comeback in Game 2. Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron had a shot bounce off the ice and go up over Price's shoulder (it first looked like it had deflected off Montreal defenceman Francis Bouillon) to tie it and winger Reilly Smith got the winner on a nice cross-slot feed from Krug that tipped off the stick of Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher before Smith snapped it into the top corner of the open side. All the goals came in a span of five minutes and 32 seconds.

Price used the word lucky to describe the Bruins goals, in particular the Bergeron score where the bobbling puck, shot from the hashmark by the boards, seemed to hit a rut or something and levitate.

"A puck that hits nothing and goes top shelf?" asked Price. "That's pretty lucky in my opinion."

In keeping with the theme of this series, the Canadiens players weren't interested in responding to the Bruins' provocations.

When asked about the Bruins "discovering" Price's weakness, Gallagher said: "I've been shooting on him for two years now and I've yet to find a weakness. so I don't know if they've got one. In our minds, he's the best goalie in the world and he shows that every night.

"We'd like to help him out a little more and have those sustained cycle shifts in the other team's end that can wear them down. That is something we've been able to do all year in the games where we've been successful, to be able to wear down other teams, chip pucks in and use our speed to our advantage.

"Not that we haven't been doing that, we just need to do it a little more."

Canadiens captain Brian Gionta sounded like a man who couldn't wait to get at it Monday, brushing off the Bruins' comments about Price and making the point the Canadiens still have a lot to give.

"I don't know what to make of it," he said of the Bruins' criticism of Price. "We're confident in the team we have. To be honest, we haven't played our best hockey yet in the series and we're still tied 1-1. We did a better job of getting back on track in Game 2, but we've got to find a way to have a better finish.

"They built momentum. It's a tough building to play in. Once they get that momentum, we have to try and find a way to stop it. We're excited about this series. We're very confident in the team we have and the way we can play."

The Canadiens have to improve their 5-on-5 play in this series. They've been outscored 6-3 at even strength (the Bruins also have an empty net goal) and while the power play has been great (4-for-9 so far), counting on it to stay hot and counting on the Bruins to keep taking penalties (the better bet) can be a sketchy way to go.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/CJ_Stevenson


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