As Seen on NESNplus – Facing elimination, the Boston Bruins kept their season alive another day with a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night at the Bell Centre in game five of their Stanley Cup quarterfinal series. Zdeno Chara, Phil Kessel, Glen Metropolit, Vladimir Sobotka and Marco Sturm all chipped in with goals for the B’s, and 12 Bruins earned points in the game.
“It’s a good feeling, we knew what we were facing tonight, and that’s how we approached it,” said Chara. “We played really desperate hockey. We gave up the first goal, but we never gave up.”
Matching penalties were doled out at 8:34 of the first period – one to Sturm for interference, and one to Sergei Kostitsyn for diving – leading to some four-on-four play.
Then, at 9:47, Alex Kovalev, after losing his helmet on the preceding play, shot the puck past Tim Thomas to give Montreal a 1-0 lead.
Patrice Brisebois was called for cross-checking at 13:15, giving the Bruins the first real power play of the game.
“We went back to our old units,” said Marc Savard of the change in power play lineups. “I guess if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.”
But the Habs had the man advantage a few minutes later when Mark Stuart earned a cross-checking penalty of his own at 16:32.
Despite numerous chances for the Bruins – including a very close call that bounced off the post at the end of the period – the score remained 1-0 in favor of the Canadiens at the end of the first period.
Boston earned another power play opportunity as Roman Hamrlik entered the box at 7:20 for holding.
Only 25 seconds later, at 7:45, Kessel took two shots on Carey Price, and his second found a hole, giving the B’s their first goal and tying the game at one.
“It’s huge for our team,” said Savard. “We haven’t scored in a game and a half, and it’s huge for him, too.”
Sturm found himself in a situation very similar to his first-period penalty, creating another four-on-four game when he and Mike Komisarek earned matching penalties at 9:27 for diving and interference, respectively.
A high-sticking penalty to Komisarek at 17:41 put the Montreal defenseman in the box and the Black & Gold with a man advantage once again.
However, an interference call on Shane Hnidy at 19:33 created a short four-on-four and a period-ending power play for the Canadiens, who would start the final 20 minutes playing out the rest of that man advantage.
23 second into the final period, Kovalev’s high-sticking penalty evened out the game again for about a minute, then gave Boston a short power play.
The Bruins took the lead when Metropolit found a puck, dumped onto the ice by Price, and tossed it into the net at 3:31, making the score 2-1.
Things kept going the right way for the Bruins, and on a power play thanks to a hooking penalty to Kostitsyn at 4:16, Chara put the B’s up by two with a goal at 5:49.
Montreal got a chance to regain the momentum when Chara garnered a slashing penalty at 9:56 and again with a roughing call to Metropolit at 14:01.
However, it was Sturm who found the net when, at 15:13, he blasted the puck just past Price’s glove for a shorthanded goal that made it 4-1 Boston.
Sobotka scored his first NHL playoff goal, giving Boston a solid four-goal lead at 17:48 to end the scoring for the game and force a game six in the series.
1 - 0 MTL
1 - 1 Tie
2 - 1 BOS
3 - 1 BOS
4 - 1 BOS
5 - 1 BOS