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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Bruins Sure Like Their Improbable Rallies In 3rd Periods of Playoff Games

Should the Bruins just start Game 3 down 2-0 and skip the first two periods of play? That seems to be when Boston excels the most vs. Montreal as they rallied for the second time in two games when they were faced with a two-goal deficit in the third. Instead of 2-0, it was 3-1 on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden in Game 2. However, this time the B's got the job done completely and it didn't even take overtime as they won 5-3 thanks to four goals in the third period (1st time in 3 years they had done that in the playoffs). Now the series is tied 1-1 heading to Montreal for Game 3 on Tuesday (7, NBCSN) and Game 4 on Thursday (7:30, NBCSN).

For whatever reason, Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (30 saves) looks unbeatable for the first two periods before he becomes a puddle in the third (Boston has outscored Montreal 7-2 in the third). A change in Game 2 was that Boston managed to score the opening goal as Daniel Paille made it 1-0 at 13:02 of the first period. Carl Soderberg and Andrej Meszaros assisted on his first goal of the postseason (in only his second game).

There were way too many penalties on both sides in the first two periods and that clearly favors Montreal who is 4 for 9 on the power play through two games while Boston is 0 for 4. Something named Mike "Dream" Weaver tied it with a screened shot at 1:09. Thomas Vanek came out of the dog house to score not one but two power play goals for the Habs that were eerily similar. He tipped in P.K. Subban's shot at 18:09 of the second then did the same thing at 6:30 of the third for a commanding 3-1 lead (or so we thought).

The Bruins came roaring back as Dougie Hamilton cut it to 3-2 at 10:56. That was his second goal of the postseason and the wicked wrister was assisted by Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron. The Garden exploded less than three and a half minutes later as Patrice Bergeron's harmless flip on net deflected off Canadiens defenseman Francis Bouillon. Bergy's second goal of the playoffs was again assisted by Marchand who quietly has four assists vs. Montreal.

The Canadiens had already burned their timeout so they could do nothing as Reilly Smith scored what turned out to be the game-winner at 16:28. His third goal of the postseason and second of the series was assisted by Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara. Milan Lucic's empty-netter sealed a truly remarkable and also vital win.

We still haven't seen the best of Tuukka Rask (25 saves) in this series which means it should be coming in Montreal. Boston needs to win at least one of those games so they might as well start it off with Game 3 and put some pressure back on the Canadiens. We should all be thankful to have an extra day to get ready for Game 3 since you know there will be numerous calls and plays that will drive us bananas. Oh joy, looking forward to it!

UPDATE 5/4: I had honestly forgotten about him but defenseman Adam McQuaid is officially out for the rest of the season following ankle surgery.

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