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Thursday, May 1, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Habs 4, B's 3 (2OT)

By Joe McDonald


BOSTON -- P.K. Subban scored his second power-play goal of the game at 4:17 of the second overtime period to give the Montreal Canadiens a 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins in Game 1 of the second-round Stanley Cup playoff series Thursday night at TD Garden.

The Bruins erased a pair of deficits in the third period to force overtime. Boston trailed 2-0 and 3-2 in the final 20 minutes of regulation, before Johnny Boychuk's goal at 18:02 knotted the game at 3-3.

The Canadiens were not affected by their eight-day hiatus between games, while the Bruins suffered through a night of missed opportunities.

In addition to Subban's two goals, Rene Bourque and Francis Bouillon scored for Montreal, while goaltender Carey Price finished with 48 saves. The Bruins could have ended this game numerous times, but Price stood on his head time and again.

For Boston, Reilly Smith, Torey Krug and Boychuk scored, while goalie Tuukka Rask finished with 29 saves.

The tempo was as expected from the opening puck drop. The Bruins had a few early chances, but Price made a couple of timely saves. Montreal gained the first power play of the game when the Bruins' Matt Bartkowski went off for tripping. During the Canadiens' man-advantage, Rask made two big saves on one onslaught, but Montreal gained control of the rebound and Subban gave the Canadiens a 1-0 lead at 11:23 of the first period. His shot from the right point made its way through traffic and beat Rask.

The Bruins nearly answered at the 17-minute mark of the opening period but couldn't finish. Milan Lucic and David Krejci exchanged passes in transition, before Krug gained control in the slot. With Price sprawling, Krug showed patience and tried to draw the Montreal goalie out of position, but Price still made the stop.

Trailing by a goal entering the second, the Bruins had a chance to tie it only a minute into the period. Krug threaded a pass to Krejci in the neutral zone, and the Bruins' forward broke in on Price. Montreal's Brendan Gallagher was backchecking and forced Krejci to shoot his backhand attempt wide.

Montreal gained a two-goal advantage a few minutes later. The Canadiens capitalized on a turnover in neutral zone and broke in 3-on-1 on Rask, and Bourque's shot went 5-hole to give Montreal a 2-0 lead at 3:38 of the second period.

Boston finally earned its first power play of the game at 14:16 and nearly capitalized, but Price made a timely save on a Jarome Iginla one-timer, before Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton drilled a shot from the point off the post. Montreal then successfully killed it off and the Canadiens finished the second period with a two-goal lead.

Boston turned it on in the third.

The Bruins had control of the puck in the offensive zone when Smith took a shot from the right faceoff circle along the half wall. Bergeron was setting the screen in front as Smith's shot screamed past Price to the top right corner to cut Boston's deficit to 2-1 at 2:44 of the third period.

The Bruins kept the pressure on and finally knotted the game at 2-2 at 6:30 of the third. In transition, Lucic controlled the puck in the neutral zone and gained the Montreal blue line. He cut into the high slot and fed a pass to Krug, who blasted a slap shot through Price's legs.

Later in the period, Boston had an opportunity to take the lead, but the puck jumped over Lucic's stick in front of Price. Montreal ended up taking advantage.

After a mad scramble in front of Rask, the Canadiens regained their lead when Bouillon's shot from the left point found its way through traffic and beat Rask to give Montreal 3-2 lead at 12:09 of the third.

Boston wasn't done.

With under two minutes remaining in regulation, the Bruins controlled the puck in the offensive zone and Marchand fed the puck back to the point, where Boychuk was waiting. His blast from just inside the blue line beat Price to the top right corner to tie the game at 3-3 with 1:58 remaining in regulation.

The first overtime wasn't lacking for action. The Bruins nearly ended it numerous times but the puck simply wouldn't slide in their favor. Unfortunately for Boston, Daniel Paille was called for tripping with 26.4 seconds remaining in the first OT, giving Montreal its second power play of the game. The Canadiens entered the second overtime with 1:34 remaining on the man-advantage, but the Bruins were able to kill it off.

But the Bruins' Bartkowski was called for holding, and Montreal capitalized.

LINE SHUFFLE: Bruins coach Claude Julien decided to tweak his third and fourth lines to start the third period. He moved Paille up to the third line with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson, while moving Justin Florek to the energy line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton.