There’s an old saying that a playoff series doesn’t begin until a team wins on the road.
This Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins series is flipping that theory on its head, as both teams are undefeated away from their friendly confines. Then again, maybe former Habs forward Michael Ryder just thinks he’s still at home at the Bell Centre, considering the fact that he buried his old team tonight. Ryder scored two goals, including the game winner, to give the Bruins an unlikely OT win and a 2-2 series tie.
Ryder also had an assist in the game as the Bruins continued this week’s exciting trend of comeback victories.
Boston 5, Montreal 4 (OT); Series tied at 2-2
The Habs will look back at Game 4 as a serious missed opportunity. They held three leads in this game, but couldn’t hold on any of those times.
This week’s trend of wild second periods continues.
The Canadiens carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, but yet another wacky second period made instant commentary a risky proposition. Ryder tied it 1-1 two minutes in, but Michael Cammalleri and Andrei Kostitsyn scored less than a minute apart to make it 3-1 Montreal. Like the Sharks and the Capitals, the Bruins wouldn’t just roll over; they ended up tying it 3-3 after Andrew Ference’s bird-flipping goal and a Patrice Bergeron tally.
Bruins won’t be denied in third period and overtime.
P.K. Subban showed why he’s getting so much attention by scoring a beautiful early third period goal to give Montreal a 4-3 lead, but the Bruins just wouldn’t go away. Despite playing with a full cage for the first time since his teenage years, Chris Kelly came through in a big way for his team by scoring the game-tying goal. Check it out in the video below.
Kelly also made a nice pass to set up Ryder’s overtime game-winner, which came about two minutes into the OT period. It was a great night for the line of Ryder, Kelly and Rich Peverley overall. Ryder had two goals and one assist, Kelly had a goal and two assists and Peverley had two helpers himself.
That’s not bad for two guys who just joined the team via trades (Kelly and Peverley) plus one winger who regularly finds himself in the doghouse (Ryder). Watch the game-winner below.
While the Canadiens will look back at this game with serious regrets, there were some great individual outputs. Michael Cammalleri continues to be an outstanding playoff performer for the Habs, as he scored a goal and two assists. Cammalleri has seven points in his last three games, with at least two in each.
Both goalies had their fair share of highs and lows, with Tim Thomas stopping 34 out of 38 shots while Carey Price made 30 out of 35 saves.
The impact on both teams
The Bruins go back to Boston with a hard-fought 2-2 tie, but this is no time to relax. Losing another game at home would force them to win two straight games, including another tough one in Montreal. They can’t assume their road hardiness will last forever.
Some might wonder if the Habs can bounce back, but they showed plenty of moxie when their backs were up against the wall in 2010. They had a great opportunity to at get to three wins with two chances at home, but one road win puts them in the driver’s seat once again.
If you were hoping for a dramatic series, then the first four games have delivered in a big way. It’ll be interesting to see which team will last laugh in this hate-filled best-of-7.