It wasn’t how it was drawn up, but somehow, the Boston Bruins came back from a 2-goal deficit in wild third period to beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 and even this best-of-seven series at a game a piece.
This has to be the year of the two goal lead evaporation. Saturday marked the 11th time this NHL post season in which the team with that goal margin would eventually lose the game.
It didn’t look like it was going to go that way for a while as Bruins killer Tomas Vanek twice tipped in shots from the other Bruins menace, P.K. Subban and it looked like 2011 all over again and Boston would be heading to Montreal’s Bell Centre Theatre trailing the Canadiens 2-0 in the series. But in this decade of comebacks on Causeway Street, the Bruins did not fade away. All season long they owned the third period and Saturday afternoon was no different.
Frustration for the Bruins and their fans had set in late in the second period after Boston was hit with a couple of roughing penalties that Claude Julien didn’t agree with and let the officials know about it with some salty language and it earned the Bruins a bench minor penalty just after Vanek’s first goal. The Bruins would survive that Montreal power play, but a Doug Hamilton interference penalty they would not as Vanek once again would tip home a Subban shot early in the third.
Julien was asked what it was like being down 3-1, I could hear guys saying was, ‘Hey, there’s lot of hockey left, let’s get that next goal here, let’s get going,’ and it was all about encouraging each other to be better. And you just do your job as a coach — change the lines, try to put the right people out there, and the rest, they took care of.
Many times in past playoffs, we Bruins fans have seen this movie far too often, especially when it involves that team north of the border. It used to end badly. But the resiliency of this team came through and started with Hamilton’s goal and the surge was on. “I just tried to join the rush, and I knew there was guys in front of me and just tried to get a good shot off, and didn’t really see where it went…nice to get stuff rolling”.
They rolled to the victory and for the time being solved the mystery of Carey Price who has been nothing short of sensational in the two games. But if he can’t see it, he can’t stop it. He is still looking for Hamilton’s shot as it went through a maze of players finally deflecting off a Montreal defenseman. Three of the Boston’s goals deflected off of a Canadien.
It seems a two goal lead is the kiss of death in these playoffs, but the Bruins will take it as they head to Montreal for games three & four with the series tied. A much more comfortable time than a two games deficit would have been.