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Habs drop OT decision to Bruins

Canadiens lead series 2-1

Sunday, 13.04.2008 / 11:03 PM / News
Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) -Marc Savard came off the bench on a delayed penalty to score with 9:25 gone in overtime Sunday night and the Boston Bruins beat the Montreal Canadiens for the first time this season, winning 2-1 in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series.

Tim Thomas made 27 saves for Boston, stopping several shots at close range in overtime. Carey Price stopped 29 shots for the Canadiens, who had beaten the Bruins in all eight games in the regular season and the first two of their best-of-seven playoff series.

Montreal continued its dominance in the overtime, testing Thomas continually before the Bruins caught a break when a penalty was signaled in Montreal's zone. As Thomas headed for the bench, Peter Schaefer controlled the puck and got it to Dennis Wideman.

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Savard came in off the bench as the extra skater, and Wideman found him in the middle for the open backhander.

The Bruins haven't won a playoff series in three previous appearances since 1999; two of those three times they lost to Montreal. This year, the domination was even more complete: In losing all eight regular-season matchups, Boston didn't have the lead in a single game, for a single second.

After the Bruins managed just 18 shots in a 4-1 loss in Game 1, they scored two third-period goals in Game 2 on Saturday night to force overtime. Once there, they lasted just 2:30 thanks to a controversial tripping penalty that led to Alex Kovalev's power-play goal.

On Sunday, the Bruins didn't just take the lead, they held it at the end.

The first NHL playoff game in Boston since 2004 brought out a large contingent of Canadiens fans to cheer for their team and, as the night wore on, back up their cheering with some brawling in the stands. The Bruins showed some fight at the end of the first period, when Shane Hnidy and Guillaume Latendresse.

Milan Lucic gave Boston its first lead against Montreal this season when Savard dug the puck out from the boards on the side and passed it in front for some nice stickhandling and a shot past Price with 6 1/2 minutes gone in the game.

The Canadiens tied it at 4:26 of the second when Tom Kostopoulos, despite being wrestled to the ice in the slot, swept the puck past Thomas to make it 1-1.

Total time the Bruins have led the Canadiens in 2007-08: 17 minutes, 56 seconds.

The first NHL playoff game in Boston since 2004 brought out a large contingent of Canadiens fans to cheer for their team and, as the night wore on, back up their cheering with some brawling in the stands.

Notes: Bruins F Phil Kessel was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. ... Wideman was back in the lineup in place of Andrew Alberts, who played Game 2. ... It was the 157th game in 31 playoff series between the two clubs, most in the NHL. ... The Bruins, who were 14th among the 16 playoff teams in scoring during the regular season, have managed only five goals in the first three games of the postseason.