The Bruins and Senators have experienced the swings of the pendulum firsthand during this opening-round Stanley Cup Playoffs series. Multi-goal leads have vanished in an instant. Energy has shifted. There has, seemingly, been no rhyme or reason to what happens next.
Each team squandered third-period leads en route to untimely losses over the series' first two games. And things did not change much during Monday night's Game 3.
Boston eliminated an early three-goal deficit, only to see Bobby Ryan snatch away a 4-3 victory and 2-1 series lead with a power-play tally just five minutes into overtime.
But dwelling on the defeat will do the Bruins no good. Not with Game 4 less than 48 hours away.
"We've got to take this, digest it, and then move on because it's in the books and all we can affect now is Wednesday's game and come out flying in that one and take control of the game for a full 60 minutes," said David Backes, who tallied the Bruins' second goal.
Video: BOS Recap: B's comeback falls short in 4-3 OT loss
Ryan's winner came after a controversial penalty call in the early minutes of the extra session. After a tussle along the boards between Riley Nash and Ryan, Ryan struck Nash in the head. Nash followed with a retaliatory shot to Ryan's face, which was the only penalty call, leading to an Ottawa power play.
Ryan took advantage when he tipped home Kyle Turris' feed for the winner at 5:43.
"Obviously, it's tough," said Tuukka Rask. "We're the home team and our crowd is behind us trying to get us some calls right before that. I saw the replay, he took a couple of hits there and then gave him a little shove, so the refs can't see the replays the way we can.
"I'm not going to judge them. But obviously, tough penalty to take in the overtime."
Nash, who had an assist in the loss, took full responsibility for the infraction.
"I think it was pretty selfish of me," said Nash. "You can't make that play, can't put the refs in that position, regardless of what happened before that…it's pretty tough for the boys.
"I think he looked over and just saw my reaction. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter. They see what they see, and, you know, there's only two of them out there, and there's 10 guys [playing], so you just can't really put them in that position to make that call. You've just got to take it."
Video: Cassidy, Bruins discuss 4-3 OT loss
Ottawa grabbed a 3-0 lead by the 3:42 mark of the second period, with Mike Hoffman sandwiching two goals around Derick Brassard's second of the series. The Bruins, meanwhile, managed just three shots in the first period and were in a deep search for answers as they headed back to the dressing room.
"They came out the way that we should've come out," said Patrice Bergeron. "You know, they take it to us and get some good looks, and we didn't respond…When you're playing catch-up hockey this time of year, it's not easy.
"We did a good job coming back, but if you play like we did in the last 40 [minutes], I'm sure a better result comes out of this one."
Following Hoffman's second of the game at 3:42 of the middle frame, the Bruins stormed back and rode the emotion of the TD Garden crowd. Acciari got the comeback started with his first career playoff goal, when he tipped home a point-shot from John-Michael Liles (two assists).
Just 42 seconds later, Backes brought the Bruins within one on a strong individual effort, during which he forced a turnover and battled through Ryan, before breaking in all alone on Craig Anderson. Backes then whipped one by the Ottawa netminder to make it 3-2.
David Pastrnak capped the barrage at 13:51 of the second when he launched a laser one-timer, off a Charlie McAvoy feed, by Anderson for a power-play tally and his first career postseason goal.
Video: OTT@BOS, Gm3: Pastrnak buries a one-timer for a PPG
"Well I think a lot of character shown by us," Backes said of the comeback. "They came out and brought it in the first period - we were kind of caught on our heels.
"It's been the storyline, maybe, for the first four games we've played against them in the regular season where they were able to get off to a good start and we were chasing the game a bit.
"I think the positive thing is we get it back to a 3-3 game after the second period and the third period is kind of a who's-going-to-break-first and they're able to get the overtime power play."
Now it's on to Game 4. The memory of Monday night's stinging defeat can't linger.
"You hate to see a game like that happen in that way," said Nash. "Who knows what would've happened if we had killed it off? But, you know, there's going to be things that go wrong, and you've got to bounce back as fast as possible. Hopefully we can do that."
A Series of Firsts
The Bruins have now had 11 players make their Stanley Cup Playoffs debuts in this series after Tommy Cross, recalled from Providence on an emergency basis Monday morning, and Acciari suited up for their first games on Monday night. Both also grabbed their first playoff points.
Acciari tallied the first Bruins' goal, before Cross notched an assist on Backes' marker. Charlie McAvoy, who made his NHL debut in the first game of the series, picked up his first career postseason point with a helper on Pastrnak's tying goal.
"I mean, it was an incredible atmosphere, the fans were unbelievable," said Cross, who played 13:08 and was a plus-1. "I think at the start of the game you're a little jittery but, you know, I think our push in the second period helped settle me down."
Video: OTT@BOS, Gm3: Acciari tips in goal from in close
Krejci Returns to the Lineup
After missing the first two games with an upper-body injury, David Krejci was back in the lineup, landing a shot on goal in 14:38 of ice time.
"Yeah, 100 percent," Krejci said of his health. "First period was kind of tough, but I felt like I felt better, making some plays in the second and third period…felt better as the game went on.
"I haven't had a good practice in a really long time, but I knew that. I kept things simple in the first period and, like I said, in the second period I felt much better, third period same thing."