Nathan Horton scored the winner at 9:03 of the second overtime to give the Bruins a 2-1 victory and a 3-2 first-round series lead over the Montreal Canadiens.
Here’s what the grinning right winger had to say: “We knew it was going to be a greasy goal and it sure was. It was a rebound, but they all count. It was a big goal for us.”
Horton, who played seven years of NHL hockey before getting a crack at the playoffs, said his experience has been spectacular. “It’s awesome,” he said. “It’s a great experience and you don’t know until you’re truly there, until you feel it, how exciting it is to be a hockey player. It’s pretty special. It’s a lot more fun when you’re winning, obviously, and you’re feeling good. But we need to keep this going and keep having fun out there. I’m excited to play. I’m excited and now our team is too.”
Rookie Brad Marchand, once again one of the most effective Bruins on the ice, gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 4:33 of the third period with the first playoff goal of his career.
“It was nice to get the first one,” Marchand said. “thank God guys stepped up lately and they didn’t need me to score. So it was nice to kind of get one and chip in a little there. It was even bigger for Horty [Nathan Horton].”
Playing in double overtime was exciting, but exhausting. “”The [overtimes] are very nerve-wracking and it was getting pretty tough there in the second one,” said Marchand “We were getting very tired. Guys were starting to cramp up. I’m pretty tired right now but it was a pretty special feeling being out there, very intense.”
Bruins goalie Tim Thomas made 44 saves, none bigger than the stunner on Brian Gionta, who fired off a feed from Travis Moen on a 2-on-1 break in the second overtime.
“When it started, I actually came out and was playing it as if Moen would have a breakaway, because that’s what it looked like,” said Thomas. “And then I realized my D was going to get back and make it a two-on-ine, and I was out pretty far so I had to make sure I started to get my backward momentum going so I could play both the shot and the pass. and I was just fortunate enough to get a leg out and cover that part of the net.”
To a man, the Bruins knew Thomas had save the game right there. “I mean he doesn’t make that save in overtime there on Gionta, we don’t get a chance to win,” said Milan Lucic. “So a lot of credit goes to Timmy for the game that he played and that’s why he is who he is. He’s a great goaltender, gives us a chance to win, and we have a lot of confidence in him.”
Said Zdeno Chara: “Save of the game. Simple as that.”
The Bruins were the first home team to win a game in this series and the teams return to Montreal for Game 6 Tuesday
“Basically, it is a big chess match,” said Chara. “I mean, both teams are just waiting for some chances and opportunities. They are just waiting. You don’t want to do something different or too much. You just have to wait for your breaks.”