The Bruins were off their game Saturday afternoon and the frustration showed.
Boston combined for nine penalties in Game 2 of their second round Stanley Cup Playoff series with the Montreal Canadiens through the first two period, leading to two power play goals and a 3-1 deficit. But there was no quit in this team.
Boston rallied to score four goals in the final period, including an empty netter, to beat the Canadiens 5-3 and tie the series 1-1 heading to Montreal on Tuesday for Game 3 at the Bell Centre.
Looking to set the tone with the team’s own special brand of physicality, the scrums started early and seemed to district the Bruins. They accounted for two unsportsmanlike penalties and two roughing calls, the latter of which were both on Torey Krug. Julien got a bench minor as well .
“I think it was frustration,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “You could see, and that’s what I mean — once we put everything aside and just said, listen, let’s control what we can control here. And when we did that, we kind of took it over. And we know it’s not going to get any easier heading to Montreal so we have to be ready to face adversity at different times because that’s always going to be.”
Once the third period got going, the Bruins’ offense turned it up a notch.
It started with Dougie Hamilton firing off a rocket past Canadiens goalie Carey Price just 10:56 into the third. A good screen by Jarome Iginla and Patrice Bergeron certainly helped. Then Bergeron fired home a shot of his own four minutes later, assisted by Marchand (2 assists), before Reilly Smith buried another goal just two minutes later as the Bruins went ahead.
“I think it was pretty obvious from everyone that we needed to all step up,” Bergeron said. “It was about everyone, not just one guy. Sometimes, it’s not about words, it’s more about actions, right. So it was about really making sure we were all doing it for the guy next to you and stepping up.”
Milan Lucic potted the empty netter to as the Bruins scored four straight goals to overcome a 3-1 deficit for the win.
Montreal’s Thomas Vanek scored both of the Canadiens’ power play goals, deflecting in shots from P.K. Subban, while Montreal defenseman Mike Weaver added in a goal of his own in the second period.
Bruins forward Daniel Paille scored his first goal of the postseason in the first period after missing the first playoff series with a head injury.
Price, who had been stellar in goal for the Canadiens until the third period, managed 30 saves in the loss. Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask stopped 25 of 28 shots his way. He was happy with the offensive surge in the third period. But he certainly wasn’t surprised about it.
“It shows our character,” Rask said. “I think we make it unnecessarily hard for ourselves sometimes. But it’s a great, gutsy win today. Really proud of these guys.”