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Playing in hostile territory, the Bruins were making a statement as the best team in the Northeast Division through most of the game. By the end of the game however, the B’s proved just how topsy-turvy the NHL’s worst division (best on record) really is.
The rival Canadiens, who with a win would at least tie the Bruins atop the standings, played a furious third period after being down 2-0. They fired 18 shots in the third period alone at Tim Thomas, who hadn’t played in a week. They finally got one by him with three minutes to go as Scott Gomez lit the lamp, and Brian Gionta tied it up with 47 seconds left, much to the delight of the Montreal crowd.
With all the momentum in the world, the Habs scored in OT when Max Pacioretty got one by Thomas 3:43 into the extra frame, giving the Canadiens a 3-2 win.
“They found a way to win and we found a way to give it to them,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien, who always has a way with words.
Zdeno Chara was given a game misconduct penalty after the Habs scored. He felt he was shoved by Pacioretty after the goal and become furious, getting tangled up with former Bruin Hal Gill and other Canadiens. Chara did not speak to reporters after the game.
Patrice Bergeron, meanwhile, provided all the scoring for the B’s. He got two goals by Carey Price (27 saves) in the second period at 4:18 and 12:27 of the frame.
Bergy’s goals almost doomed the B’s, who played like they had a 10-goal lead in the third. Instead of trying to put the Habs away, the Bruins did all they could to fend them off. Montreal fired 18 shots (two goals) in the third and another five shots (one goal) in the overtime to pick up two points. The Bruins managed just eight shots on goal in the third and none in OT.
Thomas had another quality outing despite the loss, finishing with 39 saves.
The Bruins have Sunday off before squaring off with Penguins on Monday night in Pittsburgh.