Bruins Daily will be taking a look at the top 10 Bruins regular season games of 2010-11, followed by the top ten playoff games of the 2010-11 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Today we take a look at No. 4: Eastern Conference Quarterfinals: Game 5, Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins.
With the series tied at two, and the Bruins coming off back-to-back wins at the Bell Centre, Game 5 was a crucial game for both teams. With the road team winning each of the first four games, the Bruins knew it was time to break that trend.
Goalies Carey Price and Tim Thomas stole the show in the first two periods. Both teams had numerous scoring chances, but the two goalies did everything they could keeping their opponents off the scoreboard.
After two scoreless periods, the Bruins struck first early in the third. Bruins rookie Brad Marchand hit Patrice Bergeron with a pass in front of Price, Bergeron broke his stick on the shot causing the puck to trickle wide, luckily for the Bruins the puck trickled onto the stick of Marchand who tapped the puck into the empty net.
The 1-0 Bruins lead would stick for almost ten minutes until Montreal tied things up silencing the sold out TD Garden Crowd. A bad turnover by Adam McQuaid behind the net led to Jeff Halpern’s goal, his first of the series.
The rest of the period went scoreless and the longtime rivals headed to overtime for the second straight game. In overtime both teams had prime chances to end the contest, but once again Price and Thomas stood tall keeping the game going. No goals were scored in the first overtime forcing a second overtime for the first time in the series.
It looked like Montreal had the game won early in the second overtime when Travis Moen, and Brian Gionta rushed in on a two-on-one. Moen slid a pass across the slot to an open Gionta, the Canadiens Captain had plenty of open-net to shoot into, but Thomas slid across the crease making an outstanding save on the former Boston College Eagle.
Shortly after Thomas’ brilliant save, the Bruins had their chance to win the game, and Nathan Horton cashed in on the opportunity.
Andrew Ference sent a puck towards the Canadiens net, Price saved the initial shot, but directed the rebound right to Horton, No. 18 quickly knocked the loose puck into the open net giving the Bruins the huge double-overtime win, and a 3-2 series lead.
Bruins Goal Scorers: Marchand, Horton
Canadiens Goal Scorers: Halpern
The overtime game for Montreal was their 137th lifetime playoff overtime game, a NHL record.
Marchand’s third period goal was his first career NHL playoff goal.
Bruins defensemen Dennis Seidenberg had a game-high six blocked shots.