For most of Game 2, Canadiens goaltender Carey Price looked as if he was going to repeat his Game 1 performance when he stymied chance upon Bruins’ chance.
But Boston rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period, scoring four unanswered goals to earn a 5-3 victory and tie the series.
Price gave up four goals on 34 shots and if he looked superhuman in the first 50 minutes, he looked mortal in the final 10.
“Well, they poured it on at the end of the game,’’ said Price, who lost for the first time this postseason after five straight victories. “They got pretty lucky, I thought. They were playing desperate at the end of the game and they found a way to put it in the net. We’ve just got to regroup, realize the situation we’re in, we’re in a good spot and move forward.’’
Price said the third-period collapse had no impact on his confidence heading back to Montreal.
“It’s time to regroup,’’ he said. “I thought we did an excellent job so far. We came and did what we wanted to do, split these two games. Now we’re going to move forward and take it to them on home ice.’’
Price, like his teammates and coach, expects a long series.
“We weren’t expecting to come in here and sweep two games,’’ he said. “So I think, keeping in mind what we came here to do, it’s all about moving forward at this point. You have to be mentally strong and move forward. That’s what winning teams do and you’ve got to have a winning attitude. You can’t hit panic right now.’’
Canadiens captain Brian Gionta, a former star at Boston College, said Price has done his part in each of the first two games.
“The saves he makes, the way he keeps us in a game, that’s why we had a two-goal lead,’’ said Gionta. “He made some big saves and we capitalized on the power play. Without Carey, that’s not a close game.’’
Coach Michel Therrien was very unhappy with Thomas Vanek, whom he benched several times in Game 1.
On Friday, Vanek vowed to be better and get back to playing the way he did when he was successful. On Saturday, he did. Vanek scored a pair of power-play goals, both of which were set up by defenseman P.K. Subban.
“He played a great game but playoffs is not about individual players,’’ said Subban. “Whether it’s him or other guys on the team, he played well for us, he scored two big goals and that’s what we expect out of him. By all means, we need all guys going. Not every night it can be the same guys. Different nights it’s got to be different guys stepping up. He stepped up big, got two big power-play goals, but it doesn’t mean anything when we blow a two-goal lead. We’ve got to play better for a full 60 [minutes].’’
The Canadiens have killed off 34 consecutive postseason penalties against the Bruins. They have killed off five in this series, went 21 for 21 in the 2011 conference quarterfinals, and killed the final eight in their 2009 quarterfinal series. Boston’s last postseason power-play goal against the Habs was Michael Ryder’s at 19:57 of the second period in Game 2 of the 2009 series . . . The Canadiens have scored a pair of power-play goals in each game and are 4 of 9 in the series.Nancy Marrapese-Burrell can be reached at email@example.com.