BOSTON – It was a defining moment in Boston Bruins history. It was Boston vs. Montreal in Game 7 at TD Garden. And it was Nathan Horton who delivered the game-winning goal erupting the sold-out crowd of 17,565 and giving the Bruins a 4-3 victory.
|Horton and Campbell celebrate after Horton's overtime game-winner. |
Horton slammed the puck past Montreal goaltender Carey Price just 5:43 into the overtime period for his third postseason goal, his second overtime game winner and Boston’s first Game 7 victory in 17 years.
“I mean, it felt pretty good. I don’t remember too much. I remember [Milan Lucic] coming up with the puck and I just tried to get open, and I tried putting the puck towards the net. Luckily it got deflected off someone and it went straight in. That’s all I remember,” Horton said of the tally.
“It was pretty special, again, it doesn’t get any better.”
The Bruins got off to a hot start, scoring two quick goals to take the early lead. Defenseman Johnny Boychuk started this off with a blast from the right point that flew past Price to find the back of the net.
Mark Recchi followed that up just over two minutes late, giving Boston the two goal lead. Recchi took advantage of a Montreal turnover in front of the net and slipped one past Price from the slot.
“It’s good, you know I thought it was going to be a big goal, were really came out and had some momentum and we really jumped on them right away,” Recchi said.
The Canadiens proved why their power play is a tough out when they cut Boston’s lead in half with a man-advantage tally at 9:49 in the first. Yannick Weber whipped the shot past Thomas with assists from Roman Hamrlik and Michael Cammalleri.
Boston took the 2-1 lead into the first intermission, but it didn’t last long. Montreal netted the game-tying goal just 5:50 into the second and 1:09 into a Boston power play.
Lars Eller took a cross-checking penalty that sent B’s defenseman Zdeno Chara into the end boards. Just over a minute later a puck crossed the goal line while the Bruins were on the power play for the first time this season. But it wasn’t a Bruin who netted the goal.
Plekanec’s tally was his second of the post season and came unassisted after he recovered Recchi’s turnover in the neutral zone and went one-on-one with Thomas, wristing the shot past the goaltender.
The weakness in the Bruins man-advantage performance was only highlighted by the shorthanded tally by Plekanec as Boston didn’t score a power play goal this series.
The 2-2 tie took the two squads to the dressing room for the second intermission.
Chris Kelly gave Boston the 3-2 lead with his third tally of the postseason at 9:44 in the third.
“It’s always nice to contribute offensively. When I came in here, I didn’t have the greatest start to coming here, but I’ve adjusted and feel more comfortable with my linemates and it’s nice to like I said contribute and help the team win,” Kelly said.
But Montreal quickly came back to tie the game with there second power play goal of the game of the stick of defenseman P.K. Subban.
“I was just moving and he’s got a hard shot. And in general he likes to let that shot of low blocker and five hole. I’ve seen him beat a lot of people and he’s tried me there. And so I was trying to get over to the far side, to try to cover those two, thus I was already on my way down,” Thomas said of Subban’s goal.
But once again, it was Nathan Horton who upped the stakes of his last postseason goal with his second overtime game-winning tally, this time coming in a pivotal game seven in the history of the Boston Bruins franchise.
The Bruins will take on Philadelphia in Game 1 of the second round on Saturday, April 30 at 3 p.m.