A high-energy start settled down a few minutes in. Between David Krejci and his linemates checking and cycling for a full minute, and Torey Krug (possibly illegally) leaving his feet to stifle a rush, Boston’s forwards were committed to an aggravating forecheck.
David Backes and Kenny Agostino got into it; Agostino antagonized Backes by getting under him near the boards. Later in the frame, Torey Krug and Paul Byron chirped each other on the way to the bench after Byron pinned Krug against the boards for what felt like a holding-penalty amount of time.
Also, Patrice Bergeron Bergeron’d, and it led to more than one scoring chance:
#SelkeAlert pic.twitter.com/jyipDVqUka— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 15, 2019
A pair of penalties with a few minutes remaining in the period would offset, seeing Zdeno Chara and Jesperi Kotkaniemi heading to the box together to send the game to 4-on-4. Boston, taking full advantage of the extra space, pushed Montreal back on their heels, and Bergeron made a seemingly harmless pass to Brad Marchand along the left-wing boards. Brad sniped one over Price to put Boston on the board first, 1-0.
Brad Marchand double doink pic.twitter.com/CCvqAEyMJD— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 15, 2019
For maximum excitement factor, Kevan Miller and Nicolas Deslauriers had a years-in-the-waiting rematch. It did. Not. Disappoint.
Kevan Miller and Deslauriers have a throwback, jackhammer tossing bout. Old school bout. #NHLBruins #Habs pic.twitter.com/ohTZjj26qK— Colin Beswick (@CBeswick) January 15, 2019
The lead would last until late in the frame, when Brendan Gallagher tipped down a point shot from Jeff Petry to tie the game at 1.
Brendan Gallagher gets a Brendan Gallagher goal with a nice tip in front of Rask. pic.twitter.com/dzoogNvAJA— Scott Matla (@scottmatla) January 15, 2019
As tends to happen, play settled into a back-and-forth rhythym with chances for both teams but little by way of sustained pressure. The remaining saltiness from the Miller/Deslauriers bout turned into hits, hits, and more hits. By the end of the second, the game had 39 total hits.
Things started to go a bit more sideways for Boston at about the halfway point. With the added friction came a bit of impatience from Boston, trying to use their physicality to separate the puck from Montreal as a first option rather than making a smarter defensive play. Now, to be clear, physically separating players from pucks is effective, but if you go in with a hit-first mentality checks sometimes get missed. Kevan Miller nearly speared himself in to the boards missing one on Gallagher, and after Gallagher upended Miller in front of (/over the top of) Rask, the Bruins really made the shift to hit first and ask questions later.
As a result, though Boston drew a penalty on Montreal with under five minutes remaining, the Montreal penalty kill snuck up on Boston, and Paul Byron streaked past Patrice Bergeron at the offensive point to take the puck in alone on Rask and pot a backhanded shortie. Montreal leads, 2-1.
Anooooother shorthanded goal given up by the Bruins. Paul Byron with a beauty on the backhand pic.twitter.com/o4uJEPpvep— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 15, 2019
WELP. Ten shorties against for Boston so far this season.
Matching roughing minors to Max Domi and Brandon Carlo left about a minute of 4v4 on either end of the second intermission.
The Bruins came out buzzing, with Pasta slipping through Habs defense and nearly sliding one under Price as the 4v4 expired. The Kuraly-Acciari-Wagner line once again had some solid sustained o-zone time, but few shots to show for it. After a few shifts of consistent breakouts, Boston let the flow of the game tilt back and Montreal put the Bruins on their heels for several minutes. The only chances Boston could muster were two really good stickhandling plays by Marchand and Heinen - the latter of which was arguably taken down in the process of shooting, but no penalty was called.
Just when this game looked like it would die a slow, fans-trickling-out-of-TD-Garden death, Boston got a power play on a delay of game over-the-glass shot off the stick of Michael Chaput. Boston’s power play looked absolutely hapless, until a few passes along the right side between Marchand, Krejci and Krug lulled Montreal to a near standstill. With time to slide in from the point, Krejci fired a laser over the blocker of Price and into the top corner of the Canadiens net to tie the game at 2.
David Krejci with the snipe to tie it at 2 in final minute! #NHLBruins pic.twitter.com/82xDO5oDYO— Colin Beswick (@CBeswick) January 15, 2019
Montreal took 15 seconds to finish off the Bruins. Max Domi stickhandled for days and fired a shot that Jeff Petry batted out of midair and past Rask.
Sick backhand swat from Jeff Petry to win it in OT for the Habs pic.twitter.com/DtbLUwqjNK— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) January 15, 2019
Bruins head to Philadelphia for a Wednesday night tilt, coming home the next day for a back-to-back on Thursday.