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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A couple heart attacks later, the Bruins hang on for dear life and a Game 3 win

You know you're watching a pivotal Boston Bruins playoff game when your emotions run the gamut: from worry to joy to shock and despair.

Despite some ridiculously tense moments and two soft as silk goals allowed by Tim Thomas, the Bruins held on for a 4-2 win in Game 3 last night at the Bell Centre.

The victory cut Montreal's series lead to 2-1 and ensured there will be a Game 5 on Saturday night at TD Garden. First things first, Game 4 is Thursday night back at the Bell Centre.

To the Bs' credit, they finally decided to get out to a good start. Make that a great start. David Krejci gave Boston its first lead of the series at 3:11 of the first period with a one-timer from Patrice Bergeron.

Nathan Horton doubled the lead with a banked shot off Carey Price's (21 saves) back for a 2-0 lead at 14:38 of the first period.

Andrew Ference and Benoit Pouliot squared off with four seconds left in the first period, the direct result of Pouliot's attempted cheap shot (charging) on Johnny Boychuk.

Price had a terrible gaffe to start the second period as he cleared a puck right to Rich Peverley, who put in his first career playoff goal. Mark Recchi assisted on that gift which gave Boston a commanding 3-0 lead at 2:02 of the second period.

From there, it was hang on to your hats boys as Thomas (34 saves) gave up a weak backhander (deflected by Zdeno Chara) to Andrei Kostitsyn at 7:03 of the second period.

The tempo of the game was fast from the start but it really picked up after Montreal finally got on the board. Boston retreated to their dressing room with a 3-1 lead after two periods but the Canadiens got another jolt of energy from another weak sauce goal.

Tomas Plekanec turned quickly and fired a seeing-eye shot that somehow got under Thomas' pads and in the net. Yikes, 3-2 Boston with 15:52 left in regulation.

Thomas deserves a ton of credit though. After the two terrible goals he gave up, he stood on his head for the rest of the contest as the Bs could barely get the puck out of their zone.

Chris Kelly scored an empty-netter with 26 seconds and that was it. Boston heads to Lake Placid, NY for two days to get out of "the circus" as NESN's one and only Jack Edwards called it.

Game 4 is similarly a must-win for the Bruins. The keys will be the same: Boston needs to score first and they have to get out to a solid start. They can't get bogged down by Montreal's joker fans who freak out every time a Canadien gets touched or falls on the ice like they've been shot (which is pretty much every shift).

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