Over 600 days between head-to-heads, the Bruins and Canadiens renewed their rivalry Sunday night at TD Garden, and it was a Charlie Party, with a pair of goals from both Charlie McAvoy and Charlie Coyle, that powered Boston to a 5-2 win.
Charlie McAvoy knocks home the rebound for the equalizer.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) November 15, 2021
He's up to 11 points in 13 games. pic.twitter.com/N4JRdrlXLA
Montreal got things started against the Bruins’ Jeremy Swayman when they hopped on an ill-timed pinch by Connor Clifton to spark a three-on-one Boston’s way. With Jakub Zboril the last line of defense in front of Swayman, the Canadiens’ Joel Armia rifled home his first goal of the season, scored 8:09 into the first period of play.
The Bruins had their chances to counter Armia’s game-opening tally with three power-play opportunities, but failed to solve Montreal third-string goaltender Sam Montembeault on any of their 11 shots in the opening 20.
The Bruins were denied early in the middle period, too, and off a chance you simply couldn’t have dreamt up, with David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand storming towards the Montreal netminder in a 2-on-0.
But the Bruins finally broke through at the 8:27 mark of the first period, as McAvoy banged home a rebound (and knocked teammate Nick Foligno over in the process) to put the sides back even.
The goal featured a little bit of everything from the Bruins, too, as Zboril made a sweet neutral-zone pass in transition to jump Taylor Hall’s opportunity before McAvoy read the play well enough to jump in for a sweet chance and goal.
Zboril was quick to give it right back to Montreal, however, as he missed his attempted line-up for a hit on Josh Anderson, which helped the Canadiens maintain possession and score the go-ahead goal (credited to Michael Pezzetta) off a net-front scramble and trickling puck that squeaked by Swayman at the 16:25 mark of the period.
Charlie McAvoy ... again.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) November 15, 2021
His second goal of the night ties things up at 2-2. pic.twitter.com/sE7niptJ6K
Down one through two periods of play, the Charlie Party is what carried the Bruins in the final frame, with a power-play goal from McAvoy at the 2:14 mark, and a pair of goals from Coyle within a 3:07 mark to give the B’s a two-goal edge.
Coyle even got some help from Montreal defenseman Jeff Petry along the way, as Petry’s attempted clear out of danger bounced off Coyle and through Montembeault for his first goal of the evening.
“I’ll take more of those,” Coyle said of his header tally.
Oh NO, Jeff Petry.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) November 15, 2021
Charlie Coyle is credited with the goal.
3-2 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/aBGZZEgdoO
In net, Jeremy Swayman stopped 27-of-29 for the victory. The second start in as many days for the 22-year-old was a ‘gut feeling’ move from Bruce Cassidy, and Swayman is now up to a 5-2-0 record and .914 save percentage on the season.
Forward Oskar Steen rejoined the Boston lineup in place of the injured Curtis Lazar, while winger Craig Smith and defenseman Mike Reilly remained out of action for the Bruins. It was a healthy scratch in Reilly’s case.
Up next, the Bruins will have yet another ridiculous and painfully unnecessary break between games, as the team will not return to game action until Saturday night on the road against the Flyers.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.