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In a seesaw, whirlwind third period of six goals between the two teams, the Bruins scored last and held on for the victory 5-4. Marco Sturm scored with only 2:37 remaining to give the Bruins the 5-4 lead. In a tense final two minutes, the Bruins held off the Canadiens onslaught and have forced game seven back in Montreal. Who would have thought?!
Montreal led 2-1 going into the beginning of the third period and things looked grim for the Bruins. At the start of the third, one could feel a bit of a change in the Bruins as they started taking more shots (16 in total) on net to try and force a goal. Vladimir Sobotka scored just a little over three minutes in to tie the game.
The next seven minutes were relatively calm and it felt like the game was headed for overtime, until Francis Bouillon scored to give Montreal the lead again 3-2. Just two minutes later, the Bruins responded with a goal by Milan Lucic, tying the game at three. Three minutes later, Phil Kessel scored his second goal of the game off a spectacular crossing pass which he caught in mid-stride going left of the goal and tipped it over Carey Price’s head and in. TD Banknorth erupted with the Bruins hanging to a 4-3 lead!
Unfortunately, the lead was so briefly held, the goal hadn’t even been announced at the Garden before the Canadiens tied it. Only 11 seconds after Kessel’s goal, Christopher Higgins scored his second of the night, to tie the game 4-4. The Bruins left him completely undefended and he basically shot the puck in an open net. The Bruins seemed to be too excited to realize they still had to finish the game. The crowd was certainly deflated.
With a feeling that a momentum switch was going towards Montreal, the Bruins somehow mustered whatever energy they had left to battle on. With less than three minutes left, Sturm fired a shot at Price which he deflected, but Sturm’s momentum carried him into a perfect position to handle the rebound; he quickly shot again before Price could recover, the result: 5-4 Bruins!
The Bruins heavily defended for the final two and a half minutes to hold on for a nail-biting victory in Boston tonight. Tim Thomas made some difficult saves throughout the game, including an awesome left-handed glove save in the second. While it wasn’t always pretty, he gave the Bruins the chances they needed to win.
Do the Bruins have what it takes to defeat the number one seeded Canadiens? If they can carry the momentum from tonight’s game and continue pushing strong with offensive attacks, they have a chance. We’ll find out Monday at 7PM. Get your popcorn ready, this is going to be a wild finish!