GOLD STAR: Patrice Bergeron finished with a multi-point effort, had a plus-3 rating and scored the tying goal when the puck took a fortuitous bounce off Francis Bouillon on it’s way to rocketing past Carey Price. Bergeron finished with almost 20 minutes of ice time, won 14-of-25 face offs and it was his line that came alive and engineered that third period comeback by producing all three of the goals in the final 11 minutes of the game. It was the first sustained burst by that trio in the series, and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time while torturing the Brendan Gallagher/Tomas Plekanec duo on defense.
BLACK EYE: Rene Bourque and Lars Eller turned back into pumpkins for Les Habitants with zero shots on net between the two of them, and a combined minus-6 rating as they were beaten for a trio of five-on-five goals. Bourque and Eller were instrumental in Montreal’s series win over the Tampa Bay Lightning and both played excellently in their Game 1 win, but it was a much different story on Saturday afternoon. Bourque was engaged early getting into it with Torey Krug and Kevan Miller on one of his first shifts, but he was constantly chasing the puck for the rest of the night. Brian Gionta was a little more active offensively for that line, but combined they were a minus-9 in defeat.
TURNING POINT: You knew something special was happening when Patrice Bergeron fired a shot from the perimeter that kicked off the hockey pants of Francis Bouillon, and then ricocheted past Carey Price. That was the bounce that the Bruins hadn’t been getting in the first six plus periods of the series, and the one that finally got things moving in the right direction for them. The goal tied things up in the third period for the Bruins, and that was really when one knew that the Black and Gold had the Canadiens on the run hoping to hold on for overtime.
HONORABLE MENTION: Zdeno Chara was on ice for all five of the Bruins’ goals, played a team-high 26:59 and picked up an assist on the Reilly Smith winner after pushing the puck to Torey Krug. Chara also finished with 8 shot attempts, five hits and a pair of blocked shots while holding down Montreal’s best offensive forwards during five-on-five play. Thomas Vanek got on the board with a couple of power play redirections, but he’s been a non-factor in the series in five-on-five play. Chara’s only down moment was failing to clear the puck during a long PK shift that eventually led to Vanek’s first goal.
BY THE NUMBERS: 17-3-1 – the Bruins’ record in matinee games in the regular season, and the playoffs. The Canadiens are winless in the rare matinee games they’ve played this year.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I think we just talked about staying composed, I think we were getting a little too riled up about the penalties called, and how we felt about them. We just wanted to regroup, and stay a little more disciplined, and just focus on playing our game.” –Brad Marchand on the discussion between the second and third period that eventually sparked Boston’s comeback.