Even though the Bruins dropped Game 1 to the Canadiens, there were some of positives that came out of the double overtime contest, including the strong play of some of the B’s less experienced skaters.
It was two young guns who led the Bruins’ comeback in the third period, as goals by Reilly Smith and Torey Krug erased Montreal’s 2-0 lead entering the third.
Smith won the Bruins Seventh Player Award for his play during the regular season and tallied a goal and an assist in the Bruins’ 4-1 series win over the Red Wings in the first round.
Less than 3:00 into the third period, Smith took the puck deep in the Canadien’s zone and fired a shot at Carey Price. Patrice Bergeron aided him with a nice screen of the Montreal netminder and into the goal.
“We had a lot of opportunities before I scored, and it’s tough when they’re not going in,” Smith said after the game. “They have a good goaltender, and I think in the third period we did a good job of getting in front of him and creating more traffic. And I think that lead to, you know, some of our scoring chances and our goals.
“The third period has always been the best for us, and it is something we focus on a lot in the dressing room going out before that period. It just seemed that we kind of got bounces in the third and were able to battle back into the game.”
Four minutes later, it was an odd man rush for the Bruins, as Bergeron and Lucic skated up the ice and into the Montreal end. Lucic held the puck and fed Krug who was trailing, and the rookie defenseman fired a shot from the dot that beat Price and tied the game 2-2.
“It’s definitely disappointing,” Krug said of the loss. “You work your way back into a game [after they get a] 2-0 lead in our building going into the third period. We work hard and you know it’s tough, just tough bounces.
“Just seems like we didn’t have the puck luck the bounces that were going in, but you know it’s another story. We have another game coming up Saturday and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to even things up.”
Krug made a name for himself in Boston in the Bruins’ 2013 playoff series win against the Rangers, where he scored four goals in five games. Krug was a major factor in the much improved Bruins’ power play this season.
Both teams will be back in Boston on Saturday afternoon for Game 2, and if Smith and Krug can keep complimenting the veterans, and a few more pucks bounce the Bruins way, then the B’s will be in great position to get back into this series head to Montreal tied 1-1.
“There’s so much leadership and character in this room that it rolls over onto the younger guys,” Smith said. “We’re always battling back and there’s always a chance with, you know, a lot of the talent we have in this dressing room.
“The effort was really good tonight; we got a lot of opportunities. We’ve just got to focus on putting it in the back of the net.”
Credit to @myregularface for the GIFs.