Boston Bruins 2, Montréal Canadiens 3 FINAL 1st OT
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:09 AM
As Seen on NESN –
The Boston Bruins fell to the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in overtime Saturday night at the Bell Centre after a hard-fought 60-plus minutes, putting Montreal ahead 2-0 in the series. Alex Kovalev scored the game-winning goal for the Habs.
“We played so well tonight,” said head coach Cluade Julien. “I thought we deserved better, and unfortunately those penalties came back to haunt us.”
In a bit of a role reversal from Thursday night’s game, Montreal found themselves shotless in the first three minutes or so, while Boston, playing a solid few minutes, had their fair share of chances.
“We were gritty tonight,” continued Julien. “We matched their intensity even better.”
The B’s gained the first power play opportunity of the night when Andrei Markov was called for hooking at 5:52, and while some strong pressure near the end of the two minutes nearly resulted in a Boston goal, Carey Price kept his net puck-free.
made two big saves at 10:08, blocking a shot by Steve Begin, then sliding to the other edge of the net to stop the rebound shot from Tom Kostopoulos.
Mark Streit gave the Black & Gold another chance on the man advantage with nine minutes remaining when he was called for holding. Just minutes later, Zdeno Chara
entered the box for cross-checking at 14:03, giving the Habs their power play chance.
The game remained scoreless until nearly the end of the first period when Roman Hamrlik put the Canadiens up 1-0 at 18:30.
However, a physical end to the first 20 minutes, resulting in roughing penalties for Jeremy Reich
and Christopher Higgins that would put them in the box to start the second period, signaled what was to come for the rest of the game.
After keeping the Black & Gold net empty during a bleu, blanc et rouge onslaught of shooting seconds before, Thomas was beaten by Sergei Kostitsyn, who bounced the puck past the Boston goaltender at 1:49 to give Montreal a 2-0 lead.
Penalties were traded back and forth, including a holding call to Petteri Nokelainen at 4:07, followed by a hooking penalty on Streit at 7:28 and a slashing call at 11:46 that put Hamrlik in the box.
Thomas continued to stop shot after shot from the Habs, including a breakaway by Andrei Kostitsyn in the last few minutes of the period, to keep the score 2-0 with just one period to play.
The Habs would start the third on a short power play after Mark Stuart was called for interference at 18:20.
“We’ve got to stick to our game plan, get traffic on Carey,” said Glen Metropolit after the second period. “We’ve got to keep going, and hopefully they’ll break soon.”
That break came on a goal by Peter Schaefer at 3:58, a rebound shot off a try by Nokelainen, that brought the Bruins back into the game and made the score 2-1.
Then, the Bruins got another chance when Maxim Lapierre was called for hooking at 7:45 and another on a slashing penalty to Kovalev at 9:20, which created a short five-on-three, followed by a power play again.
Boston showed their ability to stay calm under pressure, and David Krejci
came through at the perfect time, scoring a game-tying goal, and his first NHL playoff goal, at 9:34 with the B’s still on the two-man advantage.
The Black & Gold stayed strong and prevented any scoring on the penalty kill in an eerily familiar situation when Reich garnered a holding penalty at 12:50, and Metropolit was called for tripping at 14:17, giving the Habs a short five-on-three of their own.
drew blood from Kostopoulos on a high-sticking call at 17:43, forcing the B’s to keep their penalty kill going and keep the league’s number one power play at bay for the rest of the period and into overtime.
“I’ve got to have better control of my stick, that’s my responsibility,” admitted Thornton. “I was going for the puck, and I hit his blade.”
In what was perhaps the luckiest moment of the game, a last-second shot by Brisebois bounced off the right post of the Boston net as the buzzer sounded.
“We battled back, we really worked hard,” said Glen Murray before OT commenced. “Obviously we want to pull out this win.”
But the B’s couldn’t rest easy in overtime, either. A tripping penalty to Reich at 1:31 created another five-on-three, followed by a power play, for the Habs.
“The ref’s got a job to do. If it’s a trip, it’s a trip, whatever,” said Thornton. “I’m not going to badmouth the refs, obviously.”
Kovalev scored the game-winning goal at 2:30, giving the Canadiens a 2-0 lead in the series.
“Our guys battled tonight, and hopefully we can go back home, and build on that and get the next one,” said Coach.