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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 9:46 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

Free hockey!

One of the best rivalries on the planet is going to overtime.

While both teams had quality chances in the final minutes, the Canadiens and Bruins are headed for overtime at TD Garden. It marks the second straight contest that requires an extra session -- Michael Ryder evened the series in Montreal on Thursday night when he beat Carey Price in overtime.

Boston is outshooting the Habs 32-30 after regulation.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 9:37 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

Desperation level grows

The Bruins have nursed their 1-0 lead past the midway point of the third period. Montreal has had a tough time generating consistent pressure – the Habs have just six shots on goal with 9 minutes left.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 9:35 PM

By Brian Compton -  NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

It's all tied

Jeff Halpern may just be playing in his second game of this series for the Montreal Canadiens, but he just scored the club's biggest goal.

With his team trailing 1-0 in the third period, the Montreal Canadiens forward beat Tim Thomas from point-blank range to knot this game up.

Halpern, a former star at Princeton University, now has seven career postseason goals.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 9:20 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

Bruins grab lead on "broken" play

When is a broken stick a good thing? How about when it winds up setting up the opening goal in a playoff game.

Boston's Patrice Bergeron snapped his stick like a piece of kindling as he tried to one-time a passout – but he wound up banking the misfire off the skate of Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban right to teammate Brad Marchand, who put it into a half-empty net at 4:33 for the game's first goal. Carey Price had no chance.

How big is the first goal? Consider that teams scoring first in the playoffs have won 31 of 37 games – although one of the six losses was Montreal's 5-4 OT loss in Game 4, a contest the Habs led 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 9:11 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

Third period under way

The pace was frantic in the opening minutes of the third period, with each goaltender being tested.

After the Bruins had a good rush broken up, Montreal captain Brian Gionta snuck past the defense and got off a good backhander, only to be denied by Tim Thomas. Play came back the other way, and Carey Price had to make a good stop on a blast from the high slot by Boston captain Zdeno Chara.

Things calmed down slightly, and with 17 minutes remaining, we were still scoreless.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 9:04 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

Ovi to the left, Ovi to the right

A couple of thoughts from the first two games as we wait for the drop of the puck to start the third period in Boston.
  • What could be scarier than Alex Ovechkin as a left wing? How about Ovi as a right wing? He spent most of Saturday's series-clincher playing on the starboard side, and as Corey Masisak notes, Ovechkin was playing on the right side when he scored the series-winner.
  • The best news for Tampa Bay in its 8-2 rout of Pittsburgh was the re-emergence of Steven Stamkos, who broke out of a scoring slump by getting a pair of goals and a primary assist. Alan Robinson notes that coach Guy Boucher feels Stamkos “figured it out” in Game 4. That may be, but for the first time in the series, he was a factor in Game 5.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 8:51 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

40 minutes, no goals

We're through two periods in Boston, with just as many goals on the scoreboard as there were at the opening faceoff – none.

The physical play is ratcheting up as the time goes on – think of jacks-or-better poker when no one can open for a few hands. Boston's Brad Marchand had a chance with just under a minute to play in the second when he slid past the defense but couldn't jam the puck under Carey Price's pads. The ensuing scrum featured the site of super-sized defenseman Hal Gill of Montreal exchanging shoves with munchkin-like forward Mark Recchi of Boston.

The Bruins outshot Montreal 9-6 in the second period and own a 21-16 margin through 40 minutes. But where it matters most, neither team has been able to get rid of the "0" next to its name.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 8:50 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

Martin looks for more pressure

Midway through the second period and no score. The tempo is still high, but not as frantic as both teams become more cognizant of not making mistakes.

"The key for us try to get more pressure and spend more time in offensive zone," Montreal coach Jacques Martin told Versus' Darren Pang after a TV timeout.

Not more than a minute later, Tomas Plekanec had a great chance for the Habs when he snuck in from right wing. But Tim Thomas came across to meet him and wound up sliding halfway to the side boards with the puck under his pads. Thomas has 14 saves, while Montreal's Carey Price has 18.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 8:19 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

Bruins' power outage

The Bruins got their second power play when Travis Moen was called for tackling Chris Kelly 1:53 into the second period. But Montreal nearly scored a shorthanded goal when Jeff Halpern poked the free from Tomas Kaberle to start a 2-on-1 break. However, Halpern opted to pass rather than shoot – only to have a sliding Zdeno Chara block the pass.

The Habs got a second 2-on-1 break during the same penalty, but Thomas broke up a pass and started a 3-on-2 the other way. Still, Montreal killed off the power play, leaving the Bruins 0-for-14 with the extra man through four-plus games.
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Posted On Saturday, 04.23.2011 / 7:57 PM

By John Kreiser -  NHL.com Columnist /NHL.com - 12 Hours of Hockey - Live Blog

No scoring after 20 minutes

We're through one period in Boston, with neither team able to put the puck in the net.

But it wasn't for want of opportunities. Montreal had some excellent chances among its 10 shots, though the best one – a wide-open shot by Tomas Plekanec that was foiled by forward Michael Ryder – doesn't count in that figure. The Bruins had 12, including a great opportunity by slump-ridden Milan Lucic in the final minutes.

No player on either team had more than two shots as we saw the first scoreless opening period in the series.
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A piece of scar tissue breaks off, pinches the nerve, and every time you move your leg it's almost like having a root canal in your stomach and groin.

— Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss on his sports hernia surgery