- The Bruins knew that coming into Wednesday night, first place in the Northeast Division - and Eastern Conference was on the line against the Montreal Canadiens, in what was sure to be an always electric rivalry atmosphere.
It took two periods, though, for Boston to find that gear, before erupting for two goals from Tyler Seguin and David Krejci in the first 2:05 of the third period to take a 2-1 lead - and eventual win from the Habs.
“I think the message was clear across the room that the first two periods we weren’t playing like it was a division first place game,” said Second Star Seguin following the game, in which he finished a plus-2 with a goal and assist, after being held to no shots through the first two periods.
“Tuukks was holding us in there, keeping it a close game. Everyone’s happy we showed our character in the third.”
It’s no secret the B’s can come back in games - especially in the third period. And with a solid Rask in goal, making 20 saves, including seven in the first period - many of them down low - before Boston was able to put its first shot on Carey Price.
“Let’s give Tuukka credit there, he really held us in the game. We knew they were going to come out flying,” Coach Julien said following the game on Rask’s First Star performance.
Heading into the second, the Bruins were able to generate more offense, putting up eight shots to Montreal ‘s five, but it was the recently re-signed P.K. Subban who got the Habs on the board with a power-play goal 10:53 into the period. Rask nearly gloved the rocket of a shot, but a screen and slight deflection in front helped prohibit the save.
“Part of our game plan was that we need to come out of the first period either tied or ahead. We were tied and Tuukka was a big reason why we were tied,” Coach added on the scoreless game heading into the middle frame.
“And the second period, I thought we did a better job taking away some of their scoring chances. It was more of an even period in the second, but third period we needed to create more scoring chances that I didn’t think we had in the first two periods. We tweaked the lines a little bit and the guys responded well.”
That tweaked line saw David Krejci come out for the third period centering Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin.
Just 14 seconds in, Krejci threaded a driving Seguin a pass from behind the goal line that he potted right behind Carey Price.
“That’s our game, going to the net, making one or two passes at the most, getting shots on the net, driving the net,” Seguin said, on the renewed emphasis of playing their game in the third, something that hadn’t been able to convert on during the first two periods.
“Krejci made a nice pass on my goal, Looch made a nice pass on his.”
Just 1:49 later, Lucic and Krejci rushed up ice, with No. 17 feeding a crashing Krejci from the goal line right at the goal mouth. And just like that, Boston took a 2-1 lead that they held to the victory at the Bell Centre.
“We started playing our style of hockey, I think,” Rask said of theB’s play in front of him. “The first two periods we were playing perimeter hockey, not creating enough scoring chances, made the job easy for Carey. Then we just started crashing the net and had those scores.”
As for the line juggling, Coach Julien knew he needed to give his team a spark to start the third.
“There’s going to be some nights that things aren’t going as well and we all know that that Krejci line has been awesome for us. Tonight, they didn’t seem to be able to generate much and I said, why not move guys around here, maybe give them a little spark and it worked out,” said Coach Julien.
“Seggy driving the net on the first goal. Horts almost scored on his first shift too and had a great chance. Just kind of gave us a spark and gave us an opportunity to score a couple goals.”
“We’ve done it before. It’s not new for us, this is just par for the course,” Julien added, on his team ‘s ability to come back and finish games strong.
“We know it’s a 60 minute game, whether we’re ahead or we’re behind. We try and play 60 minutes best we can and when we do that a lot of times, we’re able to come from behind.”