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Bruins Score Early, Hang on for 4-2 Victory (Finally)

Nathan Horton celebrates after he scored on Carey Price in the first period. Horton hit the puck off Price to give the Bruins the 2-0 lead at the time. Boston went on to win 4-2 and bring the series to 2-1 with Montreal having the advantage. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz)

It’s not over til…it’s actually over. The Boston Bruins made sure to make a statement Monday night in Montreal as they headed into Game 3 down 2-0 in the series. The Bruins came out strong in one of the toughest rinks to play at already in the hole and held on to get the 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens. The Bruins still trail the series 2-1.

The Bruins got off to the quick lead with goals from David Krejci and Nathan Horton in the first period. Rich Peverley added another goal early in the second period to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead with a lot of time left. The Canadiens took advantage of that time to score two goals and get right back into the game. With tough defense and timely goal tending, Boston was able to hang on.

Tim Thomas started in goal for the B’s and was phenomenal. Aside from allowing two goals to literally “slip” by him at odd angles, he was near unstoppable. By flashing the glove and making strong saves with a crowd in front of the goal, Thomas was able to stop 34-of-36 shots-on-goal.

Carey Price was in net for the Canadiens and to say the least, he lost the game for his team. Krejci’s goal was the only one that was an actual goal, not just a lucky shot or an empty-netter. Price stopped 21-of-24 shots. Horton’s goal was hard for him to stop as it hit his back and ended up in the net and Peverley’s goal was just a bad mistake on Price. The netminder came out of the crease to get the puck, made a bad pass and it ended up going to Peverley with a near open-net shot. So it wasn’t Price’s fault entirely, but he didn’t help the cause either which was surprising after two solid games to start the series.

Before the game, Bruins head coach Claude Julien noted that it’s his team’s commitment and willingness to play hard that cost them the first two games and that they needed to play more like a team if they wanted to succeed.

“When you’re down in the series like that and you’ve got to climb back up it definitely is a challenge of characters and will, desire, commitment, and everything else that goes with it,” Julien said. “We’ve got to roll up our sleeves here and go back to work. And we’re going back to work in another rink that hasn’t always been good to us. But we plan on making it a successful one.”

Also on a positive note, Zdeno Chara returned to action after missing Game 2 due to dehydration. He was on the ice for 26 minutes and 20 seconds, with two shots-on-goal and three hits.

First Period

  • Right after the Bruins killed off Montreal’s power play, David Krejci headed up ice to score the first goal  for Boston just over three minutes into the game. It was his first of the playoffs and he was assisted by Patrice Bergeron and Dennis Seidenberg. Bruins up 1-0
  • With a little more than five minutes left in the period, Nathan Horton lifted the puck up and bounced it off Carey Price’s backside to give the B’s their second goal of the period. Horton was assisted by Zdeno Chara and Adam McQuaid on the play. Bruins up 2-0
  • With less than a minute to go in the period, Andrew Ference retaliated for Johnny Boychuk by throwing down his gloves with Benoit Pouliot. Pouliot charged on Boychuk up against the boards and received a two-minute penalty for it, after fighting Ference.
  • Shots on Goal: Boston 9, Montreal 8

Second Period

  • Two minutes into the period and Rich Peverley scored the Bruins’ third goal of the night as Price tried to make a pass out from behind the net but sent it to the wrong team. Peverley grabbed the puck and slipped it in for his first goal of the playoffs. He was assisted by Mark Recchi. Bruins up 3-0
  • Five minutes later, Andrei Kostitsyn was able to slip one right between Tim Thomas’s legs for his first goal of the series. He was assisted by Mike Cammalleri and Roman Hamrlik. Bruins up 3-1
  • Shots on Goal: Boston 10, Montreal 13

Third Period

  • With Montreal laying down the pressure on Thomas, Tomas Plekanec went to his right side and did a turn-around shot that just barely slide past Thomas to bring the Canadiens just that much closer. He was assisted by Cammalleri and P.K. Subban on the play.
  • The Canadiens decided to pull Price with less than a minute to play in the game and Chris Kelly was able to capitalize with an empty-net goal to secure the victory. It was his first of the series and he was assisted by Recchi and Bergeron. Bruins up 4-2
  • Shots on Goal: Boston 6, Montreal 15

The Bruins and Canadiens will have Tuesday and Wednesday off before playing Game 4 on Thursday night, staying in Montreal. The B’s will practice at Lake Placid New York on Tuesday and Wednesday, the same arena the 1980 U.S. hockey team played it’s “Miracle on Ice” Olympic games.

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