Playoff Game of the Night

2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Game 3: Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens @ Bell Centre
4-2 Final; Montreal leads the series 2-1

The big, bad Bruins were defeated at home - twice. The Bruins were expected to have an "easy match-up" against Montreal. Oh, how wrong they and the "experts" were.

Now in Montreal, the Bruins look to battle back and give Montreal a series. Against a lot of speculation, Tim Thomas got the start for this Game 3. Despite being really sick the last game, Zdeno Chara was in the line-up tonight. After being out the previous game, the Habs put in Andrei Kostitsyn and Yannick Weber was pulled out. 
Will the fans in Montreal answer Michael Cammalleri's challenge and be louder than they were last year?
For the first time this series, the Boston Bruins were the first to strike. As the penalty to the Bruins for too many men ended, Dennis Seidenberg set the play up for Patrice Bergeron, but he ended up dishing the puck to David Krejci who tapped in the pass into the net behind Carey Price. The playoffs this year have been full of opening 5-minute goals! You know these teams came with a little flavour in their shots.

In this game, Boston played more to the role that they were expected. A better penalty kill and more feist, the Bruins looked more controlled and aware of their game than they did the last two games at the Garden. And in the first period, it paid off.

Mathieu Darche was sent to the ice by a hit by a Bruin, and that started play in the other direction. Nathan Horton had the lucky shot two feet away from the net! His "garbage goal" shot got a bit of the post and just made it past Carey Price. To the fans and others not on the ice, it looked like the puck didn't just trickle past Price and barely cross the line. If you were on the ice or were looking at the overhead shot, it was as clear as day that it was a good goal. I may not be happy about it, but you can't deny blatant evidence.
While the Bruins came in strong in the first period, the Canadiens weren't as strong as they were on the road. There wasn't as much amp in their strides and the player's mind didn't look like it was keeping up with the Bruins. They didn't look threatening on the man-advantage and the defence looked a little less lustrous than most days.
After a big hit down in the Boston corner (maybe a little bit of an elbow), Benoit Pouliot and Andrew Ference dropped the mitts. It was a good, energised round of fisticuffs between the two players that surely brought some energy into the two teams.

And finally my fear of puck-playing goalies have come true. Price is one of the big puck-playing goalies nowadays and today it cost him the third Boston goal. Price played the puck right onto the stick of Rich Peverly who just tossed it into the empty net and thanked Price for the assist. My fear of puck-playing goalies is even more intact than before.

Not allowing themselves to be shutout at home, newly-inserted-to-the-line-up Andrei Kostitsyn picks up the drop-pass by Michael Cammalleri and scores one against Tim Thomas!

The third period saw the Habs in the form that made their fans jump and cheer at their seats at every moment! And all that zip, zoom, and bang paid off! Activating the wings and playing their winning formula, Montreal got within one with a highlight-reel goal by Tomas Plekanec! Plekanec did a spin-o-rama right at the goal-line to the left of Thomas and fooled all Bruins marking him! The spinning shot went over Thomas and under the crossbar to ring into the mesh! That's one for the highlights, I tell you!

To secure the win and guarantee a Game 5, the Bruins add an empty-netter by means of Chris Kelly.

3 stars:
(1) Patrice Bergeron
(2) Andrei Kostitsyn
(3) Michael Cammalleri

Gotta have some Jean Béliveau!

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