BOSTON — Nathan Horton scored at 9:03 of the second overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night and a 3-2 lead in the Eastern Conference series.
Montreal goalie Carey Price stopped Andrew Ference‘s wrist shot from 30 feet but couldn’t control the rebound. Horton put the puck into the open right side of the net for his second goal of the playoffs.
It was Boston’s second overtime win in three days, following a 5-4 victory Thursday night. It also was the first win by the home team in the first-round series.
The Bruins, who have won three straight games, can end the series in Game 6 on Tuesday night in Montreal.
In Game 4, also in Montreal, Michael Ryder scored at 1:59 of overtime after the Bruins overcame deficits of 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3.
On Saturday, Boston’s Tim Thomas made a brilliant save at 5:35 of the second overtime on a 2-on-1 Montreal break. Travis Moen passed from the left side across the slot to Brian Gionta, and Thomas slid across the crease to turn aside Gionta’s shot from five feet.
At 8:08 of the first overtime, Price nearly gave the game to the Bruins when he whiffed as he attempted to clear the puck from the crease. He then fell backward on it as his mask fell off while Brad Marchand was just a few feet away.
The Bruins are 0-26 in series’ that they trailed 2-0. But the Canadiens have lost the last two series in which they won the first two games — in 1996 against the New York Rangers and in 2006 against the Carolina Hurricanes, who went on to win the Stanley Cup.
After two scoreless periods, Marchand gave Boston the lead at 4:33 of the third period before Jeff Halpern tied it at 13:56.
Marchand passed from behind Price’s left side across the crease. The puck hit Boston’s Patrice Bergeron and trickled back to Marchand, who put it in the open side of the net to the left of Price.
Halpern scored with a short shot over Thomas’ right shoulder after taking a pass from Lars Eller from behind the net.
There was plenty of tight checking and end-to-end action in the first two periods as the Bruins outshot the Canadiens 21-16.
Montreal got a break about eight minutes in when Dennis Seidenberg‘s pass from the right to left point intended for Zdeno Chara was stolen by Michael Cammalleri. He skated in ahead of the defense, but Thomas knocked his shot to the left of the crease. Tomas Plekanec got the puck and shot it toward the open right side where a sprawling Ryder swatted it away with his right glove.
Boston had the better opportunities for the rest of the period.
Horton stole the puck behind the Montreal net and fed David Krejci out front, but Price made the save at 10:38. Then, with Montreal’s David Desharnais serving an interference penalty, Milan Lucic had a clear shot from 5 feet but put it right into Price’s pads.
The Bruins had another opportunity early in the second period, but Marchand and Mark Recchi, both just in front of Price, couldn’t put the puck in at the 52-second mark.
One of the Canadiens’ best chances of the period came at 10:59 when Plekanec fired a 10-footer into Thomas’ pads. The goaltender quickly looked behind to see if the puck went into the net but it stayed in his pads.
Boxer Micky Ward of Lowell, the subject of the movie “The Fighter” was in the crowd. … The teams played their first scoreless first period of the series. … The game was the third of this year’s NHL playoffs that lasted two overtimes. … Price allowed a total of one goal in the first two games in Boston. … The start of the second overtime was delayed as workmen cleared puddles from the ice.
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