Au Revoir!: Nathan Horton's OT goal lifts Bruins to 4-3 victory in Game 7

Nathan Horton was the OT hero for the second time in this series as the Bruins winger found the net in overtime to send the Montreal Canadiens packing in Game 7. The 4-3 win at TD Garden on Wednesday night wraps up the series for the Bruins and sets up a rematch of last's year's Eastern Conference Semifinals with the Philadelphia Flyers

Johnny Boychuk's slapper from the right point 3:31 into the game gave the Bruins an early 1-0 lead. Brad Marchand skated the puck from behind the Habs goal line out to the right circle before sending a pass to Boychuk at the point. Boychuk uncorked a back-scratching slapper that made its way through traffic in front and past Carey Price. Patrice Bergeron picked up an assist and provided a screen in front on Boychuk's first goal of the series.

Mark Recchi extended the Bruins' lead to 2-0 just 5:33 into the game when his wrister from the slot beat Carey Price top corner on the stick side. The quick start for the Bruins forced Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin to use his timeout in the first 6 minutes of Game 7.

Montreal pulled to within one at 9:49 of the first period on a power play goal from Yannick Weber, who snaped a shot from the right circle over the glove of Tim Thomas. Weber was all alone on the right side of the ice and Roman Hamrlik saw an open seam through the middle of the ice after Daniel Paille lost his stick and fed a cross-ice pass to Weber at the right dot.

Tomas Plekanac's shorthanded goal at 5:50 of the second period reset the game for the Habs at 2-2. Mark Recchi could not control a pass from Dennis Seidenberg in the neutral zone, which sprung Plekanec in on break away. Plekanec snapped a shot between the circles and rang one off the left post and in for his second goal of the series.

Chris Kelly made it 3-2 at 9:44 of the third period after he backhanded a rebound off of an Andrew Ference shot past Carey Price to put the B's back on top. Earlier in the play, Kelly laid a big hit on Roman Hamrlik in the neutral zone and Hamrlik stayed down on the ice, which created  a brief de facto power play for the B's.

With just over 2 minutes left in regulation, Patrice Bergeron was whistled for a high stick to set up a late power play for the Canadiens. P.K. Subban was able to convert on the power play with a rocket of a shot that whistled past the glove of Tim Thomas up high to knot the game up at 3-3 with 1:57 left to play in the third period and eventually force overtime.

The Habs carried the play early in overtime, but some big saves from Tim Thomas kept the Bruins' quest for The Cup alive before Nathan Horton lifted the B's to victory with a his game-winning slapper 5:43 into the extra session. Milan Lucic moved the puck from the right circle out to Horton in the high slot. Horton drifted out towards the top of the left circle and fired a slapper that deflected off of the skate of Jeff Halpern and continued past Carey Price to send the Bruins to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.



Notes:

- There any better sight than Cam Neely jumping up and down while awkwardly high five dudes in suits?

- Did anyone catch Jack Edwards rambling pre-written historically soliloquy? That dude takes nerdom and homerism and cranks it to 11.

- I'm glad that Tim Thomas finally decided to grow a proper playoff beard. That mustache was bad mojo.

- How clutch is Nathan Horton?

- The Habs saved some of their best dives for Game 7. Did I see P.K. Subban pull off a reverse pencil dive?

- Montreal out-shot the Bruins 37-34.

- I had Bruins in 7. This might be the first time I have ever accurately predicted the number of games and the winner. Let me have my moment.

- The Bruins became the first team in NHL history to win a 7-game series without scoring a power play goal. The Bruins were a dreadful 0 for 21 on the power play in the series.

- Game 1 of the Bruins-Flyers series is scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 3 PM in Philadelphia.

- Tickets for the Eastern Conference Semifinals go on sale Thursday at 11 AM ET.

"We’re very happy to get that win, but we never doubted ourselves. We always believed."

Patrice Bergeron

"I don’t know, to be honest with you. I didn’t feel anything, but there’s not much I can do. You can’t take that penalty there, so we’re just happy that it went our way."

Patrice Bergeron when asked whether or not his stick made contact with James Wisniewski on the high sticking call late in the third period

"I think Rich kind of had the puck and cut to the middle and I drove the lane and I think he dropped it to Ference and he got a great job getting his shot through and the rebound was just there and I just happened to tap it in."

Chris Kelly describing his goal

"It just happened, I think my stick caught him, it just happened to be going through for the puck. Obviously it’s never someone’s intention to get someone with their stick. And it just happened to pop out to Peverley and it was fortunate. It was just a collision. There’s tons of them in the series."

Chris Kelly on what happened with Roman Hamrlik before his goal

"Yeah, it was pretty nice. I mean, it felt pretty good. I don’t remember too much. I remember Looch coming up with the puck and I just tried to get open, and I tried putting the puck towards the net. Luckily it got deflected off someone and it went straight in. That’s all I remember. It was pretty special, again, it doesn’t get any better."

Nathan Horton on his game-winner

"Oh, it feels great. First time I’ve got it. It definitely feels good to have the jacket."

Nathan Horton on getting to wear the old school 80s style Bruins jacket given to the player of the game as voted on by the Bruins players

"Well a little bit because we found out the series starts Saturday, but no there hasn’t been a change over at least in my mind yet to preparing for that. I think a night like tonight, I deserve at least until midnight to revel in it."

Tim Thomas when asked if he is thinking about the next series vs. Philadelphia

"Everyone knows Montreal is our biggest rivalry, game seven overtime. And to be the one who came out on top, the team that came out on top, it’s pretty incredible to be a part of. If I would have said I knew we were going to win I’d be lying. I knew we had the potential to win, but it could have gone either way the way that they just kept battling back. That’s what overtime is all about. I think I have a few more gray hairs in my beard over here."

Tim Thomas

"I don’t know. NHL 2010 I think."

Tim Thomas when asked where Nathan Horton learned to score in OT

"I was just moving and he’s got a hard shot. And in general he likes to let that shot of low blocker and five hole. I’ve seen him beat a lot of people and he’s tried me there. And so I was trying to get over to the far side, to try to cover those two, thus I was already on my way down and I saw Soupy laying down, but it was too late for me to realize he could only go high, I wouldn’t have to go down. And then as it’s going by Soupy the thought is crossing my mind whether it’s going to hit off his butt and then it’s behind me by that time. It was a hard shot. Weber’s was a perfect shot there too on the first goal."

Tim Thomas on P.K. Subban's goal

"I don’t think this is the place.  I’m not going to get into the evaluation of personnel.  We just lost in seven games.  I think we will take some time and regroup and as an organization well evaluate our people in due time."

Montreal Head Coach Jacques Martin on evaluating his team

"It was nice to reward our fans because they've been punished enough."

Claude Julien

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