P.K. Subban has another super outing for Habs | Hockey | CBC Sports

Hockey Night in CanadaP.K. Subban has another super outing for Habs

Posted: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 | 11:09 PM

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P.K. Subban celebrates his first period goal for Montreal in Game 3 on Tuesday. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press) P.K. Subban celebrates his first period goal for Montreal in Game 3 on Tuesday. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press)

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In seven games in the Montreal Canadiens' playoff run, defenceman P.K. Subban has three goals and 11 points, including six points in the first three games of his team's series against the Boston Bruins.

With 52 hours between the end of Game 2 and the start of Game 3 in the Canadiens-Bruins second-round series, there was plenty of fodder to fill two days of newspaper sports sections, internet blogs and talk shows.

The most-discussed matter was Bruins defencemen Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton revealing that Montreal goalie Carey Price could be beaten high on screen shots. But also in the forefront was Boston head coach Claude Julien, upset the Canadiens had a 9-5 advantage in power plays after the first two games, and whether or not Montreal could hold a third-period lead.

Shortly after the puck was dropped, however, it was apparent that this was going to be another evening that it would be difficult to take your eyes off Montreal defenceman P.K. Subban. The reigning Norris Trophy winner was omnipresent in the Habs' 4-2 victory at the Bell Centre on Tuesday to take a 2-1 series advantage.

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Subban helped set up an early goal from Tomas Plekanec. Then he was called for roughing after a hit that not only knocked down Boston forward Reilly Smith, but his own Canadiens teammate Thomas Vanek, who spent the rest of the first period in the dressing room getting treatment.

Subban made amends for his undisciplined play, because when he exited the penalty box a few shifts later he scored to give the Canadiens a 2-0 lead. He also had the smarts to accidentally/intentionally knock the net off its pegs when the Bruins had some late-game pressure.

"He's playing really good hockey," said Price, who made 26 stops for his sixth win in seven playoff games this spring. "He seems to play his best when he's fired up. He's definitely brought a lot of emotion and he's been able to control it. He's been able to use it in just the right way."

Those two points extended Subban's point streak to six games. The last Montreal defenceman to enjoy a point streak this long was Larry Robinson back in 1985.

"It's very humbling," Subban told NHL Network after the game. "First of all, it's an honour and privilege to wear the C-H [logo]. There are so many great players and this is such a historic franchise. That is one of the perks of playing here in Montreal, there is so much history.

"Whenever your name is in the same sentence as someone like Larry Robinson it's very flattering. Obviously, I just want to keep things going. Good things happen when your focus is on the right thing. My focus has been on the team and individual success is going to come as long as your head is in the right place."

Smothering forecheck

Before the playoffs began, this team-first mentality was the message of an inspirational video the Montreal coaching staff showed the players. There were highlights of the 2013-14 season mixed in with the successes of the past from players like Guy Lafleur, Yvan Cournoyer, Jean Beliveau and Rocket Richard.

"It was real emotional watching that," Subban said. "The thing I took away from watching it was right at the end when Jean Beliveau said 'we have a chance to win as long as we play as a unit.' It seems that has been our theme right now. We're sticking together and playing as a unit. This is the tightest team I've played on since I've been here."

Besides Subban's play, the Canadiens had plenty of energy up front and smothered the Bruins with a strong forecheck. They also blocked 29 Boston shots and one of those blocks from Montreal defenceman Mike Weaver was the reason Subban was sprung for his breakaway goal.

The Canadiens held a 3-1 lead entering the final 20 minutes, but unlike in the first two games of this series, Montreal held on to its two-goal lead for the victory.

"Good teams know how to shut down good teams when they have the lead," Subban said. "We're a good team. We've done it all year. They're a resilient team. Their push back is incredible, but I thought we did a good job of sticking together."

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