“It feels good to contribute, especially at that time of the game with the penalties they were taking. It was good to get the lead,” Vanek said.
But Boston wasn’t quite done.
Despite generating just one shot on Price in the first half of the third period, they drew to within a goal.
Brad Marchand spun away from Alexei Emelin’s check, then sent a pass to the point, where Hamilton pounded a shot through traffic that sailed past a helpless Price.
“On their second goal there, it’s just over-backcheck, they find the late guy,” Gionta said.
Just 3:21 later, Marchand slid a puck up the boards to Patrice Bergeron, whose shot clipped Bouillon’s thigh and found the net past Price.
“It was the end of the shift, so I was just trying to put it on goal – actually I meant to do that,” Bergeron said with a laugh. “No, it was just a question of throwing it on net, you can never predict what will happen.”
And just over a minute after that, the Bruins had the lead.
With Marchand and Subban battling by the net, Krug slipped a cross-ice pass that Gallagher unwittingly tipped directly to Reilly Smith, who deposited the puck into a yawning cage.
In 5:32, the game had been turned on its head.
“That’s a good team. They know how to win. They didn’t quit, they just kept believing in themselves. We got the lead we wanted and just gave it away,” Vanek said.
Boston coach Claude Julien was clearly irked by the officiating, the Bruins took nine penalties, including a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.
“We had a tough second period and the start of the third they got that other power-play goal, but the way we just battled back through I felt a lot of crap that we put up with today, was pretty indicative of what our team’s all about. It just shows that if you focus on the things you need to focus on there’s a pretty good team that can accomplish a lot,” he said, declining to elaborate on what he meant by “crap”, although he did cop to voicing his displeasure with the refereeing before the bench minor.
Julien’s comments conveniently elide the fact Boston’s players initiated several post-whistle scrums, and tried repeatedly to punish Habs players; the main example being tough guy Shawn Thornton’s healthy run at Subban near the side boards as the defenceman cleared a puck in to the Boston end.
As Subban took evasive maneuvers and spun out of the way, Thornton’s glanced off him and went face-first into the boards; he had to be helped off the ice with an apparent right knee injury, but did return.
Afterward, Thornton complained about it being “a dangerous play,” but said Subban apologized on the ice “so at least there’s that” (why Subban would feel the need to express contrition wasn’t immediately clear.)
As it happens, Subban was also banged up in this game, suffering a cut on his hand when he got tangled up with Brad Marchand in the early going.
But the playoffs are about bouncing back, expect the stylish defenceman to be at his regular station for game three, which goes Tuesday at the Bell Centre.