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May 15, 2014

Bruins left too much to chance, paid price

BOSTON -- Especially in hockey, Game 7s come down to chance: a flip of a coin or a roll of the dice.

The Boston Bruins entered last night’s Game 7 against the Montreal Canadiens believing all the experience they’d garnered in these Game 7s over the last seven years would stack those odds in their favor.

They were wrong.

The Habs came into TD Garden and took the Eastern Conference semifinal series from the President’s Trophy-winning Bruins with a 3-1 victory in front of a stunned and restless crowd of 17,565.

“Especially when you know that you have a team that was so good and consistent throughout the whole season, and you have a good enough team to win more than one series, it’s something that you’re going to be thinking about,” B’s captain Zdeno Chara said. “I’ll be thinking about it for sure, quite a bit.”

The team scoring the first goal won every game of this series, and Montreal got that last night when Dale Weise scored just 2:18 in. American Olympian Max Pacioretty made it 2-0 midway through the second, and by that time it was simply impossible for Boston to chase the game the rest of the way.

“When it comes to the playoffs, mistakes can cost you games, or (a) series,” said Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, who had a .903 save percentage in the series, well below his regular season mark of .930.

Jarome Iginla’s power play goal late in the second period gave his team some life, but overall Boston just didn’t have the energy to break down Montreal’s defense for the full 60 minutes. Falling behind early did the B’s in.

“It’s really tough. I think we expected to go all the way this year. It’s very tough; very disappointing. It’s hard to really put into words. It’s – we expected a lot more,” said winger Brad Marchand.

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