The Montreal Canadiens received a blow to their defense of the Stanley Cup title when goalie Patrick Roy, the key in last year's success, was hospitalized Thursday because of appendicitis that might require surgery.
Without Roy, the Canadiens gave up three first-period goals behind Ron Tugnutt as the Boston Bruins cruised to 6-3 victory at Montreal to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
The Bruins did not waste time in taking advantage of Roy's absence as Tugnutt allowed five of Boston's first 13 shots into the net, including two from long range.
"I'm obviously very disappointed with how I performed," said Tugnutt, who was acquired from the Mighty Ducks in February. "I'll take my part of the blame."
Roy, 28, could return for Game 4 on Saturday if it is determined today he does not require surgery.
An operation would sideline him for 10 to 14 days, meaning he would not return until the second round of playoffs--if Montreal advances past Boston.
"If he recovers, he can play as soon as he gets a few meals under his belt," said Douglas Kinnear, the Montreal team physician.