Bruins grabs upper hand, 3-2 series lead
The back-and-forth battle that is the Bruins-Canadiens Stanley Cup playoff series turned in Boston's favor Saturday night.
Boston scored during two of its four power-play opportunities and won Game 5 of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinals, 4-2, at TD Garden. The Bruins entered the contest scoreless in eight power-play chances during their first four playoff games against Montreal.
Boston has a 3-2 lead in the series, which will resume Monday with Game 6 in Montreal (7:30 p.m.).
Carl Soderberg, Reilly Smith, Jarome Iginla and Loui Eriksson scored for the Bruins, who led 1-0 after 20 minutes and 3-1 entering the third. Soderberg also had two assists in the victory.
Boston goaltender Tuuka Rask entered the game with a 1.67 goals-against average during the 2014 postseason.
Boston broke things open by scoring two power-play goals in a 32-second span early in the second period. Smith made it a 2-0 game when the puck deflected off his skate and past Montreal goaltender Carey Price (30 saves) at 1:04, and Iginla increased the Bruins' lead to 3-0 at 1:36. Both goals came with Montreal's Tomas Plekanec in the penalty box with separate minor penalties.
It was the fourth goal of the playoffs for both Smith and Iginla.
Montreal defenseman P,K. Subban scored to make it a 4-2 game at 17:31 of the third. Subban leads all defenseman in playoff scoring with 12 points (four goals).
Brendan Gallagher scored a power-play goal for the Canadiens that sliced Boston's lead to 3-1 at 14:39 of the second period. It was Montreal's fifth power-play goal in the series, and came while Brad Marchand was in the box for holding. The Canadiens had four power-play chances in the loss.
Boston regained a three-goal lead when Eriksson capitalized on a rebound to make it 4-1 with 5:48 to play.
The Bruins collected the only goal in a first period that featured six power plays (three for each team). Soderberg scored from the left faceoff circle at 13:20. It was an even-strength goal, and his first career playoff goal. The assists went to Eriksson and Matt Bartkowski.