Patrick Roy had to have a bad game eventually, and when it happened Friday, there was little the defending Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens could do to extend their season.
Roy had played spectacularly in getting the Canadiens to a seventh game in their first-round playoff series against the Boston Bruins, stopping 99 of 102 shots in victories in Games 4 and 5. But he lost Game 6 and allowed four goals on the Bruins’ first 16 shots of a 5-3 victory Friday night in Boston.
“It was just justice that was made,” Montreal Coach Jacques Demers said. “They should have won the series long ago. We were fortunate to be here for Game 7.”
Only the spectacular play of Roy had kept the Canadiens alive after he sat out their Game 3 loss because of appendicitis that was treated with medication. But he was shaky when his team needed him most.
“We felt that eventually we could get to him,” said Ted Donato, who scored one of the three goals that went between Roy’s pads.
Boston led, 4-0, early in the second period and 5-1 in the third before Montreal rallied on goals by Kevin Haller and Mike Keane.
The Bruins begin the second round Sunday in New Jersey against the Devils, who beat Buffalo, 2-1, in another Game 7 showdown Friday night.
Montreal, which lost its fourth consecutive playoff series against Boston, is the first defending champion to be eliminated in the first round since Calgary in 1990.
“We were so hungry last year,” Demers said. “We won the Cup because we were together. We pushed together. I don’t think everybody was pushing together” against Boston.
The hungry player was Boston goalie Jon Casey, overshadowed during most of the series by Roy and maligned throughout New England for ineffective play much of the season. Casey had been benched in Games 3 and 4 but stopped 26 shots Friday.
“Patrick is a great goalie. We’ve all seen that this series,” Casey said. “I just try to be steady out there. I’m not trying to vindicate anything. I’m just trying to do my job.”
New Jersey 2, Buffalo 1--The Devils ended four years of first-round playoff frustration by outlasting the Sabres and Dominik Hasek at East Rutherford, N.J.
Claude Lemieux snapped a second-period tie with the winning goal.
New Jersey didn’t get to the next round until Buffalo’s Dale Hawerchuk clanged a shot off the goal post with 16 seconds to play.
After the Sabres went four overtimes and 70 shots Wednesday to force a seventh game, they were able to muster only 18 shots on Devil goalie Martin Brodeur. Only Hasek kept them in the game, stopping one shot after another in finishing with 45 saves.