Looking back at the 2011 Boston Bruins: Game 4 ECQF

(Photo Credit: Francois Lacasse)

By: Jeff Playdon | Follow me on Twitter @PlaydonJeff

Following a 4-2 win in game three, Boston looked to tie the series up at the Bell Centre on April 21st. After the win, Claude Julien decided to take his team to Lake Placid for a two-day getaway to refocus his guys. It was a time to get the players to a quiet place and recuperate. Going into game four, it was uncertain if Chris Kelly would play due to injury, so Tyler Seguin was the next man up and potentially playing his first NHL playoff game. 

Boston would also try to get its powerplay working as they were just 0-11 on powerplays. However, Montreal’s powerplay wasn’t any better as they were just 1-12. Healthy scratches for Boston included Shane Hnidy. Montreal would be without Benoit Pouliot, Paul Mara, and Yannick Weber. Tim Thomas would start between the pipes, as would Carey Price for Montreal.   

Montreal Dominates the 1st Period

Game 4 was on, and the Bell Centre was deafening. With every hit, save, and shot for Montreal, the Montreal faithful would cheer as loud as possible. This was going to be impressive if Boston could win back-to-back games at the Bell Centre. As expected, Montreal was able to get on the scoreboard first. At 8:13 of the first period, Brent Sopel fired a slap shot off a Bruins stick and between Thomas’s pads to give Montreal an early 1-0 lead. 

About six minutes later, Boston would get a powerplay opportunity to tie the game. Lars Eller was going to the box for interference. The powerplay struggles continued for the Bruins, and Montreal was all over Boston for the rest of the period. After one period of play, the shot totals were Montreal 15 and Boston eight. Not a good start for Boston, and if it wasn’t for Tim Thomas’s stellar goaltending, this could easily be a 3-0 Montreal lead.   

2nd Period Excitement

The second period started, and Boston looked like a completely different team right away than they were in the first period. Just 2:13 into the second former Canadian, Michael Ryder put Boston on the board, and it was tied at one. A long pass from Tomas Kaberle that was followed by a quick wrist shot from Ryder was able to find the back of the net. The 1-1 tie didn’t last long as Montreal was able to find its groove again. With just under seven minutes played in the period, Mike Cammalleri was able to score, and then 55 seconds later, Andrei Kostitsyn tucked one behind Thomas. Two goals in 55 seconds for Montreal left the Bruins stunned and left its fans watching at home, scratching their heads. 

With Montreal having all the momentum behind them and a noisy Bell Centre, it made it look like Montreal was going to ease away with a game four win. That wouldn’t be the case, though, as somehow Boston was able to score again, and they now only trailed by one. The goal came two minutes later off a blistering slapshot from Andrew Ference and over Carey Prices pad. The Bruins were now the ones with the momentum and looked to tally on another goal to make it 3-3. 

The chances were building for the Bruins, and one of these times, one was going to find the back of the net for the tying goal. With 2:56 remaining in the second period, Patrice Bergeron found the back of the net and, finally, one of their many chances connected for the tying goal. A quick pass from Marchand behind the net found Bergeron patiently waiting in front of Price, and Bergeron connected. It was a 3-3 tie going into the final 20 minutes of regulation. 

Regulation not enough, On to Overtime

The final period of play was underway, and right away, Boston found themselves in trouble. Just 32 seconds in, Patrice Bergeron was called for hooking, and Montreal had a pristine chance to take a 4-3 lead. With 54 seconds left on the Montreal powerplay, James Wisniewski found P.K Subban all by himself on the left circle, and Subban was able to fire it in the net. It was the third time in this game that Boston found themselves trailing, and Montreal now had a 4-3 lead with 18:21 remaining in the game. At the 13:32 mark, it looked like Boston would tie the game, but Carey Price made a spectacular glove save while on his stomach to keep Montreal ahead.

Third-period action progressed, and Boston desperately tried getting the puck past Carey Price. With 6:18 remaining in the game, Chris Kelly was finally able to put one in the net, and the game was all tied up at four apiece. While a shot from Michael Ryder was unable to get past Price, Kelly was there to pick up the rebound and bury it. With 2:19 remaining in regulation, a very questionable call sent Dennis Seidenberg to the box and led to a Montreal powerplay opportunity. 

Claude Julien was left in disbelief on the Bruins bench, as were the announcers in the booth. Anyway, if Montreal converted, they would most likely take a commanding 3-1 series lead into Boston. Tim Thomas made a couple of crucial saves, and the Montreal powerplay ended. Regulation play was over, and both teams would go to sudden death overtime. If Boston could score in OT and send the series back to Boston, tied 2-2 would be impressive, to say the least.  

Michael Ryder gets the Game Winner

Overtime was underway, and whoever scored next would take the momentum into Game five at T.D Garden. A couple of quick shots from Montreal were unable to get past Tim Thomas, and OT continued. After taking the puck away from Travis Moen, the Bruins had a 3-on-1 breakaway into the Montreal zone. A shot from Rich Peverly went just wide, Chris Kelly picked up the rebound, saucered a pass over to Michael Ryder, and Ryder was able to fire the puck past Price.

The Bruins had done the impossible. After trailing the series 0-2 against Montreal going into the Bell Centre, they had won both games, and now the series was tied 2-2 going back to Boston. The three stars of the game were P.K Subban (one goal), Michael Cammalleri (one goal, two assists), and Michael Ryder (one assist, a goal in the second, and the game-winning goal). The series would resume on April 23rd at T.D Garden.  

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