FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – The Montreal Forum was the Canadiens’ home for one of the most successful dynasties in professional sports.
The Bruins and Celtics filled the Boston Garden rafters with championship banners.
The Original Six rivals met at the home of the defending Super Bowl champions for the NHL Winter Classic on Friday, and it was the visiting Canadiens and their locally grown goalie who managed to mimic the New England Patriots’ success.
Wearing a mask decorated with a Patriots theme and autographed by their coach and quarterback, Mike Condon stopped 27 shots to help Montreal beat the Bruins 5-1 on Friday at the home of the reigning NFL champions.
“I’m pretty sure anything Tom Brady touches turns to gold,” said the Boston-bred goalie whose father is a policeman who works a security detail at Gillette Stadium during Patriots games. “Hopefully got some mojo on my helmet there. I’m a huge fan of his, huge fan of this organization, and I’m just happy to pay respect to them on the ice.”
Paul Byron scored twice, and Brendan Gallagher returned from two broken fingers to score a goal and add an assist. David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty also scored for the Canadiens, who passed Florida and moved into first place in the Atlantic Division with 47 points.
Tuukka Rask stopped 25 shots for the Bruins, and Matt Beleskey scored in the third period to avert the first shutout in Winter Classic history. The four-goal win was the largest for the event since it began in 2008.
Both goalies paid tribute to the Patriots and Brady on their masks, and coach Claude Julien worked the Bruins bench in a hoodie straight from the wardrobe of his NFL counterpart, Bill Belichick.
Before a crowd of 67,246 on a cloudy day with the temperature for the opening faceoff at 4 C, the teams dodged the slushy ice that has greeted other Winter Classic events, including the old-timers and women’s exhibitions on Thursday. Canucks 2, Ducks 1 (SO)
In Vancouver, Alexandre Burrows scored in the first round of the shootout and Jacob Markstrom made 27 saves to help the Canucks beat Anaheim.
Markstrom stopped Ryan Kesler, Jakob Silfverberg and Corey Perry to secure the victory.