From the Bell Centre to the Garden in Boston, the Canadiens may have continued to flatten the Bruins by beating them in game one 4-1, and in game two 3-2.
However the Bruins would find an Achilles heel in the Canadien's game in front of a packed house on Sunday night at the TD Banknorth Garden.
In the first period, Montreal came out fast, focused, and physical. Yet that physical play would cost the Canadiens early, as Roman Hamrlik was sent to the box for roughing at 1:30 of the first period.
This gave the Bruins a chance to score on the power-play in front of a home crowd. Yet the Canadians defense would play it out, showing why they had the best penalty kill in the eastern conference.
Fortunately, the Bruins would find a way to score in transition. As they entered the Montreal zone, Mark Stuart dumped the puck in cross corner where Marc Savard took a hit along the half wall. But, Savard controlled the puck and found 19 year old rookie and 7thplayer award winner, Milan Lucic, to give the Bruins the first lead all season against the Canadiens.
Tempers had been flaring between these two teams since the beginning of the season. What else would you expect from a rivalry during a playoff match up? It wasn’t until the end of the first period that the aggression really kicked in.
The referees would try to calm things down, but the Bruins' Shane Hnidy would drop the gloves with Guillaume Latendresse after the buzzer giving his team some momentum going into the second.
Boston out shot Montreal ten to seven and would hold the one to nothing lead going into the second.
Montréal came out with speed getting a many great chances on Tim Thomas in the second period, but he was able to stop them all.
Then at 4:26 Thomas would lose the puck in a scramble in front of his net and Tom Kostopoulos cashed in to tie the game at one. The second period would continue but the game would stay tied into the third. Both teams continued playing hard but the game would eventually go into overtime.
The Bruins would get their last chance to keep the series close, and they did. As Boston set up, Montrealzone Wideman would give the puck to Schafer who would put it on net. As Price gave up a rebound Marc Savard would collect it on his stick and put it into the back of the net cutting the Canadians series lead in half 2-1.