This was one of those games where a lot of players took advantage of their opportunities. Let’s start with Peter Budaj. The Canadiens’ backup goaltender was a surprise starter — at least to those who aren’t on the inside — and ran his perfect career record at the TD Garden to 4-0 as he stopped 34 shots Thursday night to lead Montreal to a 4-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. “These are games you want to play,” said Budaj, who was at a loss to explain why he plays so well in this building. “Maybe it’s just the atmosphere,” he said. “It’s easy to get up for these games. The coach told me a few days ago that I was going to play. After Carey (Price) had that great game against Carolina (winning 3-0) we wanted to play well tonight. The guys were ready. “I don’t want to take anything away from Boston, they’re a great team, but we battled tonight.” Budaj said he got a lot of help from his teammates. “They had a lot of shots, but most of them were from the outside,” said the goaltender, who improved his record this season to 6-4-2 with a 1.97 goals-against average and .926 save percentage. “There weren’t any from the back door and we didn’t give up many rebounds. We blocked a lot of shots. You had (Alexei) Emelin sliding to break up a two-on one. There were a lot of plays like that where the guys pitched in.” Budaj wan’t the only unheralded player to come up big in this game. Daniel Brière, who has been relegated to the fourth line, made the most of his 7:39 of ice time as he scored a goal and added an assist, finishing the night plus 2. “I can’t control my ice time, all I can control is what I do on the ice,” said Brière, who has eight goals and eight assists in 41 games and is minus-2 for the season. While the 36-year-old Brière might have lost a step or two, he still has a sweet pair of hands and showed that when he delivered an insurance goal to put the Canadiens up 4-1 at 13:46 of the second period.
Habs beat Bruins, 4-1
Montreal Gazette | Jan 31