For the third straight game in this riveting Eastern Conference semifinals series, the Montreal Canadiens went up early on the Bruins and the B’s made a late push. Unlike Game 2, the Canadiens were able to survive Boston’s third period pressure, winning Game 3 at Bell Centre, 4-2, while taking a 2-1 series lead.
The North of the border party got underway when P.K. Subban’s drop pass to Thomas Vanek quickly made its way to Tomas Plekanec in front of the net for an easy Plekanec score at the 10:57 mark of the first period.
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Subban again made his presence felt minutes later as, fresh off the bench due to a roughing minor on a huge open-ice hit to Reilly Smith, the Canadiens’ electric defenseman fooled Tuukka Rask on a breakaway. The goal put the Habs up, 2-0, after one period, whipping the Bell Centre crowd into a bilingual frenzy.
Canadiens defenseman Mike Weaver continued Montreal’s early dominance in the second when he blocked a Bruins shot, opening up a breakaway goal by Dale Weise, who beat Rask through the legs.
The Bruins began to chip away late in the second period when Patrice Bergeron won a faceoff and then promptly batted in a Torey Krug shot. Andrej Meszaros scored at the 17:44 mark in the third for the B’s, who had pulled Rask.
What they'll be saying: The obvious trend here is that the Bruins are waiting far too long in these games to find their groove. They put plenty of pressure on the Canadiens in the third period, but Meszaros' goal was a case of too little, too late.
Also, give Price a ton of credit. Bruins fans don't want to hear it, but he's outplayed Rask so far in this series.
Follow Metro Boston sports editor on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS