With a win Thursday night the Montreal Canadiens could find themselves in a position few hockey fans or experts might have predicted, just one win away from knocking the NHL's top regular season team from the playoffs. The Boston Bruins finished the regular season with 117 points including just 19 losses in an 82-game season.
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Game preview: Boston Bruins at Montreal Canadiens – 7:00 p.m. ET
When Michael Bournival started training camp this season he was a long shot to make the Canadiens roster. But in the pre-season he was among Montreal's leading scorers and impressed management more each game he played. Now he's making an impression on the Boston Bruins.
Tim Wharnsby of CBC Sports writes:
'On his fourth shift with new linemates, Michael Bournival made an impact.
The Montreal Canadiens rookie utilized his speed to get in on the forecheck and create a turnover deep in the Boston Bruins end. Bournival rushed goalie Tuukka Rask into making a bad outlet pass into the skates of Bruins defenceman Kevan Miller, then kept the puck alive along the boards.
Bournival whisked it around to P.K. Subban on the other side and, moments later, Thomas Vanek found Tomas Plekanec with a slap pass and Montreal enjoyed a 1-0 lead en route to a 4-2 victory in Game 3 at Bell Centre on Tuesday.
Chalk one up for Michel Therrien.
The Canadiens head coach made a few fruitful adjustments for Game 3 of the second-round playoff series, which Montreal leads 2-1. With Brandon Prust out with an undisclosed injury, Therrien moved Bournival back into the lineup and up on the second line alongside Plekanec and Vanek rather than his usual place Bournival on the left side of the fourth line.
"We need energy on every line and this was a decision we made [Monday]," Therrien said. "We wanted energy on every line and this is exactly what we got right now.
"I like the balance we could show on every line. It's crucial for any hockey team."
Read his whole story here.
Dale Weiss gets unexpected attention
Meanwhile, Dale Weise is finding out what it's like to be a Montreal Canadien in springtime during the playoffs.
Some were not happy when general manager Marc Bergevin sent defenseman Raphael Diaz to Vancouver Canucks for the little-known Weise on Feb. 3. Now the energetic fourth-line winger is becoming a playoff star. His breakaway goal in Game 3 of a NHL Eastern Conference semifinal on Tuesday night became his second game-winner of the playoffs as the Canadiens downed the rival Boston Bruins 4-2 to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
His first taste of his new-found fame came this week when he was out for a stroll with his fiancee, with 7-month-old son Hunter in a stroller.
"This car pulled over right on the sidewalk," Weise said Wednesday. "The guy was in the driver's seat and I was on the right side. "In the middle of the green light he's reached across and he's banging on the window and yelling. My fiancee's like `what is this guy doing?' She's freaking out, and he's giving me the thumbs-up. It was pretty outrageous."
Game 4 starts at 7:00 p.m. on CBC Sports Hockey Night in Canada. Click here to watch the live stream.
With files from the Associated press.