In a game that saw the Bruins in a virtual must-win scenario and captain Zdeno Chara suiting up after missing Game 2 with dehydration it was imperative the Bruins came up big tonight. Fortunately for them, they scored first and scored enough early on to hang on and win 4-2 to get themselves back into the series against the Canadiens.
First period goals from David Krejci and Nathan Horton and jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second period when Rich Peverley took a Carey Price (21 saves) turnover and turned it into a gift goal. The rest of the game would be zeroed in on goalie Tim Thomas.
Thomas stood tall making 34 saves to get the win and while the Canadiens turned up the pressure getting goals from Andrei Kostitsyn late in the second and Tomas Plekanec in the third, but Thomas would buckle down and keep the Habs at bay. Chris Kelly would score an empty net goal to seal the deal for Boston.
Boston’s win helps to re-energize them after being down about as low as a team can get after losing both games at home to start the series. The key tonight was getting the first goal and making sure that Montreal couldn’t settle in comfortably and turn the rest of the game into an uphill battle for the Bruins. Boston will need to do that the rest of the way to make the struggle harder for the Canadiens.
Montreal, meanwhile, has to be let down as they had a chance to put the Bruins on the brink of elimination with a win tonight and failed. Seeing the game ultimately come down to Peverley’s goal off of Price’s turnover has to be doubly frustrating given the way they fought back in the third period putting huge pressure on Thomas.
The key for tonight’s game was Thomas and after coming up small in Chara’s absence in Game 2 he needed a big game to get back into the positive flow of things. Mission accomplished tonight for Thomas and the Bruins fed off of keeping the Montreal fans quiet for the better part of the game. Getting a goal from playoff newcomer Nathan Horton helps out too. They’ll need to keep that focus heading into Game 4 if they don’t want to head back home for Game 5 down 3-1.