Boston scored two power-play goals in just 32 seconds en route to a 4-2 win over Montreal on Saturday that gave the Bruins a 3-2 lead in their second-round NHL playoff series.
The Bruins lead the best-of-seven series 3-2, with a chance to eliminate the Canadiens in Montreal tonight. If not, then Game 7 would be held on Wednesday night in Boston.
On Saturday, Carl Soderberg gave the hosts the lead in the first period and they broke the game wide open early in the second.
Boston had not scored a power-play goal in the playoffs against the Canadiens in 39 tries over 14 games dating to 2009, but did so twice in rapid succession at TD Garden.
With Montreal’s Tomas Plekanec off the ice for interfering with the goaltender, Reilly Smith pounced 64 seconds into the second when he tipped Dougie Hamilton’s shot past Carey Price to make it 2-0.
Sixteen seconds later, Plekanec was sent off again, this time for high-sticking. It only took six seconds into the power play for the Bruins to make it 3-0 as Jarome Iginla received a pass from Torey Krug and slapped a shot past Price.
Plekanec set up Brendan Gallagher to cut the deficit to two with 5 minutes, 21 seconds left in the second, but Loui Eriksson snapped in the rebound of Matt Fraser’s shot with just less than 6 minutes left in the game to make it 4-1.
Montreal pulled Price for most of the last 5 minutes and P.K. Subban scored on a 6-on-4 power play, but the Canadiens could not get closer.
On the other side of the country, Anaheim beat neighbors Los Angeles 2-0 to tie their series at 2-2.
Ducks goaltender John Gibson made 28 saves in his dynamic NHL playoffs debut to shut out the Kings at the Staples Center. The 20-year-old American is widely seen as the top goaltending prospect in hockey.
Gibson got the nod from coach Bruce Boudreau in place of veteran Jonas Hiller and coolly backstopped the Ducks through the final 40 minutes on Saturday.
Devante Smith-Pelly pushed past Drew Doughty into the Kings’ zone and converted a pass from Corey Perry before Ducks captain Ryan scored on a power play 2:43 later to celebrate his 29th birthday.
The visiting team have all four games in the series, which bodes well for the Kings as they head to Anaheim today looking for the lead.