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After Bruins killer Thomas Vanek scored his second goal of the game to put the Montreal Canadiens up 3-1 with 13:30 left in the third period, Bruins forward Shawn Thornton told his teammates they needed a goal every five minutes to tie up the game.
They did a little bit better than that. Two better, to be exact.
The Bruins ripped off four straight goals in the game’s last nine minutes, storming back to complete the comeback they couldn’t quite finish in Game 1 with a 5-3 win. The series now shifts to Montreal all even at one game apiece for Game 3 on Tuesday night.
Down 3-1 after Vanek’s second goal, Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton started the scoring spree by firing a wrister top shelf from just below the blue line to bring the Bruins back within a goal, redemption for his interference penalty that led to Montreal’s third goal of the game. Less than four minutes later, Patrice Bergeron knotted the score at 3-3 when his shot bounced off the ice and beat Canadiens goaltender Carey Price glove side from along the righthand boards.
Reilly Smith tallied the go-ahead goal on a cross-ice pass from Torey Krug with 3:32 remaining. The Canadiens pulled Price from net to try to send Game 2 into overtime, but the Bruins defense held strong and broke Milan Lucic free for an empty-netter to ice the game and even the series 1-1 with a 5-3 win.
Tuukka Rask had 25 saves in the Bruins win, while Price notched 30 in a losing effort.
The Bruins jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period when Daniel Paille netted his first goal since returning for the conference semifinals, but Mike Weaver answered just over a minute into the second period with Montreal’s first goal.
Both teams were sloppy in committing a rash of penalties throughout the first two periods as the play was very physical and chippy. The Bruins and Canadiens were each handed four penalties in the first period, before the Bruins dug themselves into a 2-1 hole with four second period penalties (the Canadiens committed two penalties in the second). The Bruins’ Krug and Andrej Meszaros committed roughing penalties 14 seconds apart, leading to a brief 5-on-3 power play for Montreal. Just as it was coming to an end, Vanek scored on a tip-in off a slap shot from P.K. Subban. In fact, both Vanek’s goals were tip-ins off Subban shots from the point.
Matt Bartowski was (thankfully) a healthy scratch for the Bruins after committing two costly penalties in Game 1…Thornton had an injury scare in the third period when he came charging out of the penalty box looking to level Subban, only for Subban to turn and duck so that Thornton’s knee collided with the despised defenseman’s back and wrenched awkwardly. He left the ice holding his leg gingerly, but would return later in the third period to a rousing ovation…Does anyone else find it awkward when fans incessantly boo Subban, especially in light of Donald Sterling’s comments, the idiotic bigots who called him racist names on Twitter, and Boston’s checkered history with race in sports?…Game 3 is on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM in Montreal. Here’s hoping we get another classic rivalry game!