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Recap: Bruins allow two in the third but score late to beat Montreal, 3-2

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The third period was bad, then it was real bad, then it was actually good.

Boston Bruins v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Friday night’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins was a bit of a snoozer. Not a ton of penalties, no real snarl, not many big hits...

Tonight’s game was the opposite. This Bruins-Canadiens tilt had jump from the outset. Cheapshots, bloodied players, big hits, huge saves...it had it all.

And in the end, it had the most important thing of all: the Bruins with more goals than the Canadiens when time expired.

John Moore scored his first goal as a Bruin with just under three minutes left in the third period to give the Bruins a huge 3-2 win over the Canadiens, skipping town with two points after blowing a two-goal lead in the third.

David Backes ended his long scoring drought with a great individual effort to open the scoring. 1-0 Bruins.

Jake DeBrusk continued his hot streak with a great finish of a Torey Krug pass to make it 2-0 Bruins.

The Canadiens appeared to cut the lead in half early in the third, but the goal ended up being waved off.

Later in the third period, Jonathan Drouin’s great rush ends in the back of the net, whether it went right in or off of Andrew Shaw. 2-1 Bruins.

Tomas Tatar picks a corner on the power play, tying the game at 2-2 in the third period.

Jonathan Drouin senselessly gets his stick up high, well away from the play, giving the Bruins a late four-minute power play.

John Moore is, to use a Jack Edwards favorite, JOHNNY ON THE SPOT late in the third period, burying the rebound to make it 3-2 Bruins.

That’s it! The Bruins would hold on in the final minutes to leave Montreal with a big 3-2 win.

Quick thoughts

  • I wondered aloud in this morning’s preview if David Backes was approaching healthy scratch territory; maybe I should wonder that more often. Backes had jump from the get-go tonight, with a fantastic individual effort on the first goal. He created a few other scoring chances, then made a smart bank play that led to John Moore’s winner. While it doesn’t erase his slow start, a game like this could be the jump Backes needs.
  • Finally, this game felt like a rivalry game again. Bruins-Canadiens games have lacked sandpaper in recent years, feeling more like your January Bruins vs. Western Conference Team tilts. Tonight, the “hatred” was back. Brendan Gallagher was taking cheapshots. Kevan Miller was laying guys out. There were high sticks, slashes, scrums...it was, as Tuukka Rask told NESN postgame, “fun.” It’s about time.
  • Speaking of Rask, he was excellent again. That’s now three starts in a row where Rask has been great, and he’s seemed to get better in each game. Rask was especially immense in the first period, where the Habs had extended stretches of zone time but Rask stood tall. It’s nice to see him get a W to go along with the solid performance.
  • If you’re a visiting team in Montreal and you’re ahead in the third period, is there any doubt in your mind that the Habs are going to end up with a power play at some point? You can set your watch to it.
  • Jake DeBrusk continues to have an excellent stretch of late, with seven goals in his last nine games. He’s got 10 on the season, just six shy of his total in 70 games last season. If you’re keeping score, Mat Barzal has three...JUST SAYING.
  • The Bruins will have a day off tomorrow, then face another big Atlantic Division foe in the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday. Don’t be surprised if holdout William Nylander has signed by game-time, though I wouldn’t expect him to suit up.