Talking Points: B's put together great all-around effort in Habs win

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Talking points from the Bruins' 4-0 win over the Canadiens. . .

GOLD STAR: Charlie McAvoy enjoyed his best game since coming back from his concussion, and picked a great time to do it against the Habs. McAvoy had a couple of defensive issues in the previous two losses to Pittsburgh and Buffalo, but straightened those out in his 19 plus minutes of ice time against Montreal. McAvoy had a couple of assists and a plus-2 rating in the winning effort, led the Bruins with six registered hits and had three shot attempts in an excellent all-around game. The blend of physicality and offense was McAvoy at his best. It was good to see McAvoy elevate his game and really lead the Bruins defensemen corps as they put a stranglehold on the Habs offense and never let up.

BLACK EYE: It was a pretty inauspicious night for Montreal forward Matthew Peca in a very limited capacity in the game. The Habs player was on ice for a pair of Bruins goals despite 8:59 of ice time, and had zero shots on net in a completely ineffectual performance. There were probably bigger disappointments among the Montreal lineup that couldn’t do anything offensively against the B’s defense, but Peca’s was a truly terrible stat line in a game where nobody from the Canadiens really stood out in a good way.  

TURNING POINT: For the Bruins it was right out of the gate in the first period as the defense held Montreal to just five shots on net, and Joakim Nordstrom scored just a couple of minutes into the contest. The stingy defensive effort really put a stranglehold on anything that the Habs were trying to generate offensively, and the goal allowed the Bruins to play as front-runners for the bulk of the game until they began piling goals onto the lead. Given that the B’s played a little too fast and loose in losses to Pittsburgh and Buffalo, it was a needed change of play for the Black and Gold against the Habs on Monday night. The good start eventually led to one of Boston’s best all-around games of the season.

HONORABLE MENTION: Give it up for rookie Colby Cave, who scored his first NHL goal and added two points to his tally as a rookie for Boston. The goal was an excellent one as David Pastrnak floated a saucer pass toward the net, and Charlie McAvoy dropped a pass back to Cave for the rifled shot from the slot area. Cave isn’t likely to stick with the Bruins roster once everybody gets healthy and it certainly doesn’t look like he’s got the offensive goods to be a top-6 guy, but it was good to see a kid get rewarded for simply working hard and filling in since he arrived in Boston earlier this season. So congrats go out to Cave on his first career NHL goal. Cave finished with a goal, two points and a plus-2 in 12:01 of ice time along with two shots on net, three hits and a blocked shot.

BY THE NUMBERS: 45 – the number of career shutouts for Jaroslav Halak after he stopped all 22 shots that he faced in Montreal.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "No passengers at all. We did what we had to do." –Bruce Cassidy, to reporters on the all-around, excellent effort from the Bruins. 

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