MONTREAL — Making his NHL playoff debut after being called up Wednesday from Providence, Matt Fraser scored at 1:19 of overtime to give the Bruins the thrilling 1-0 victory over the Canadiens in Game 4, tying the Eastern Conference semifinal series 2-2.
The Bruins announced they were recalling Fraser only Thursday morning, assigning Justin Florek to the Providence Bruins to make room for the winger. Playing on the third line with Carl Soderberg and Loui Eriksson, Fraser was able to position himself in front of Carey Price and pushed the puck under Habs goalie for the game winner.
“Words can’t even describe that feeling,” Fraser said when asked how he felt after scoring the OT goal. “I just watched the replay of it and yet, I don’t even want to try to explain that because that’s something I wish every kid could feel.”
The 23-year-old Fraser did he best to describe the play that resulted in the goal after Johnny Boychuk’s shot from the point bounced off the boards and Price and Canadiens defenseman Mike Weaver had trouble controlling the puck.
“Again I wish I could remember, it just happened,” Fraser said. “But the puck got the net and it was bobbling around in front, I kind of tried to sniff it out and whack it in.”
The Red Deer, Alta., native spoke about a whirlwind 24 hours that found him playing in the biggest game of his career.
“As you can tell in my voice, it’s pretty excited,” Fraser said. “I hardly slept today, I’m sure I’ll hardly sleep tonight, but at the same time, you’ve got to keep it in perspective. This is one game, we evened the series, and now we’ll go back to Boston and come with the same effort.”
Fraser said he turned his phone off for the day so he could focus on the game at hand, but there was one special phone call he had to make tonight.
“It’s most important that I talk to my parents,” Fraser said. “I’ve always tried to talk to them after the game and hopefully my dad was impressed with this one.”
Fraser described the difference in the environment that what he’s been used to lately when playing in the minors.
“There’s more people in this media scrum than there’s fans in Providence,” Fraser said. “And that’s not a dis to Providence but it’s such a cool atmosphere here, and such a cool thing to be a part of.”
Fraser signed as an undrafted free agent with the Dallas Stars and had three previous appearances in the NHL, twice with the stars and again this season, when he got a 14-game call-up in December in which he scored a pair of goals for the Bruins. He came to the Bruins last summer in the Tyler Seguin trade along with Eriksson and Reilly Smith.
In 27 career NHL games, Fraser had three goals and two assists coming into tonight’s playoff game.