When you watch P.K. Subban play, one element of his game jumps out at you — his poise. Whether he is skating with the puck, taking a shot on net, or making a pass, Subban is smooth, fast, and extremely effective.
Despite the Canadiens’ 5-3 loss to the Bruins at TD Garden in Game 2 of the second round Saturday, Subban once again generated points.
He assisted on both of Thomas Vanek’s power-play goals, giving him two goals and two assists in this best-of-seven series, which switches to Montreal for Games 3 and 4.
The Habs appeared in control with a 3-1 lead midway through the third period, but Boston erupted for three goals in a 5-minute-32-second span to put the contest out of reach.
Although it’s been a challenging week for Subban, who was singled out in racist tweets on Twitter after scoring the winning goal in Game 1 in double overtime Thursday, he said it’s time to move on.
“This is the first time and probably the last time I’ll comment on it,’’ said Subban. “First things first: the Boston Bruins is an Original Six franchise. They’ve been around for a very long time. They’re respected. It is completely unfair for anybody to point the finger at the organization or the fan base. They’ve got passionate fans here. Since I’ve been in the league, it’s been awesome. I’ve come to Boston many times. My family has come here and it’s been great.
“What people may say on Twitter and social media is not a reflection by any means of the league or the Boston Bruins. So, whoever that is, they’ll get dealt with, but it’s completely separate from this league or the Boston Bruins organization.
“Like I said, the fan base has been awesome, they’re a great bunch of fans. It’s unfortunate when things take away from the great hockey that was played two days ago. It was a fantastic game, it was great for the league, great for hockey, and that’s what we’re going to talk about. I’m happy now that we can just move on.
“You know what the funny thing is? We get stronger as a league. You see how people come together and it’s great and it’s not just about me.
“The NHL has tons of players from different backgrounds, from different places around the world and that’s what makes this league so special. That’s what makes sports so special, it brings everybody together. So, another great hockey game today. I’m sure everybody enjoyed it, I look forward to the rest of the series and everybody else should, too.’’
Subban said although the loss in Game 2 was disappointing, the Canadiens got what they wanted from the opening two games — a split.
“We’re not going to come up with any excuses, we had a two-goal lead,’’ said Subban, who logged 26:58 of ice time, one second shy of Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. “We’ve got to manage the puck better, we’ve got to do some smarter things out there, making sure we’re being smart with the puck and putting ourselves in a good position.
“Nine minutes left to go in the game, we’ve got to shut it down. Good teams know how to shut things down when they’ve got the lead. We’re a good team. We’ve done it before. By the same token, we came here wanting to get one win. Obviously we would’ve liked to have two, but we got one. We’ve got home-ice advantage going back to Montreal and we’ll be ready to play.’’
The Canadiens and Bruins have two days to prepare for Game 3 Tuesday night. Subban said all the games are going to be battles.
“This is a good team, they’re a resilient team,’’ he said of the Bruins. “I’ve seen them [stage late comebacks] a couple times since I’ve been in the league. They’ve got a lot of good players over there.
“We’ve got to prepare, refocus, and focus for a full 60. We’re playing good hockey, we’ve just got to focus for a full 60.’’
Subban was involved in a couple of tough plays. He got tangled up with Bruins winger Brad Marchand early in the game and appeared to have injured his right hand or wrist when it came into contact with Marchand’s skate, but Subban said he’s fine.
“I played the rest of the game,’’ he said. “I don’t think it cut my glove.’’
Early in the third, Bruins right wing Shawn Thornton went to hit Subban but missed and appeared to whack his knee against Subban’s torso. Thornton left the game, but returned later in the period.
“I don’t know what happened,’’ said Subban. “I tried to shoot the puck around the zone and kind of lost my footing. Obviously you don’t want to see anybody go off hurt, but he came back. I was happy to see that.’’Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @Elle1027.