After Andrei Kostitsyn’s second period goal at 7:47 — 55 seconds after Michael Cammalleri’s tally — the Bruins looked like they were going to fall once again to the Canadiens and head back to Boston for Saturday’s Game 5 trailing three games to one.
In a bit of a surprise to some, head coach Claude Julien called a timeout right after Kostitsyn’s marker to settle his team down and try to regain some momentum.
“They scored two quick goals and obviously in this building [the Bell Centre], I just wanted to slow things down to start with,” Julien said to the media during his postgame press conference. “At the same time, I told our team to relax and there was still a half a game left to play and we had to stick to our game plan.”
It’s safe to say that strategy paid off, resulting in a 5-4 victory for Boston.
As a result, the Black and Gold responded with two more second period goals (the first goal of the period came from Michael Ryder 2:13 in) of their own from Andrew Ference, who had quite the celebration that caught many eyes, and Patrice Bergeron, his second tally of the playoffs.
Once again, they faced adversity in the third when PK Subban put the Habs ahead 4-3 early in the third.
But a couple of unsung heroes — Ryder and Chris Kelly — gave the Bruins a much needed lift late in the game.
With his hard work around the Canadiens’ net, Kelly, who was supporting a face-shield after facial surgery the day before, tied the game at 4-4 when he gathered the puck and buried it past Price at 13:42.
The ex-Senator played a key role again in overtime, along with Rich Peverley who started it all with a rush down the Habs end. Peverley’s initial shot was stopped, but Kelly gathered the rebound from behind the net and fed it to Ryder, who went top shelf on Price for the game-winner.
“Kells threw it out there and I guess he saw me,” Ryder said of his game-winner. “I think Price was trying to get back to his post and I just threw it in.”
Considering that Ryder and Kelly were subject to skepticism earlier in the week — especially with fans calling for Tyler Seguin to enter the lineup — the duo came up with their best performance so far this postseason. It’s pretty safe to say that very few will suggest either of those two to make room for Seguin, at least for the time being.
For while Julien was also met with skepticism in the first two games, he and his team have responded well to not only tie the series, but also shifting the momentum back to the Bruins with the last two wins.
The Bruins’ resiliency during the last two games have shifted the momentum of this series. Now they have to keep their foot on the pedal and take the momentum over with the series now tied at two games a piece.
“It would have been tough if we had lost here tonight,” said Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (34 saves). “Having said that, there’s still a lot of work to do.”