BOSTON — Reilly Smith scored the go-ahead goal with 3:32 left, and the Boston Bruins rallied from two down in the third period to beat the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 on Saturday and tie the Eastern Conference semifinals at one game apiece.
The Bruins trailed 3-1 with just over nine minutes remaining before Dougie Hamilton scored, then Patrice Bergeron tied it with 5:43 remaining. Reilly then wristed a cross-ice pass from Torey Krug past Carey Price to give Boston the lead.
Tuukka Rask had 25 saves for Boston – the first time in 10 tries in his career that he has beaten the Bruins’ Original Six rival at the TD Garden. Milan Lucic added an empty-netter with 66 seconds left.
Price stopped 30 shots for Montreal. Thomas Vanek twice tipped P.K. Subban’s slap shots into the net, and Mike Weaver also scored for the Canadiens.
Games 3 and 4 are in Montreal on Tuesday and Thursday.
Subban scored twice in Game 1, including a double-overtime goal that unleashed a series of racial slurs on social media. The Bruins distanced themselves from “the racist, classless views expressed by an ignorant group of individuals,” and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman joined in on Saturday.
“We condemn bias and hatred,” he said during a break in the game. “It has no place in our game and it’s not acceptable.”
Subban left the bench for part of the first period with an apparent hand injury. But, when he returned, he continued to hurt the Bruins on the power play.
He helped Montreal take a 2-1 lead with just under 2 minutes left in the second period right as the first penalty in a five-on-there advantage was ending. On a similar play 6 minutes into the third period, Vanek’s tip-in gave the Canadiens a 3-1 lead.
But Hamilton cut it to a one-goal deficit with 9:04 left, then Bergeron took a shot from a tough angle that bounced off Montreal defenseman Francis Bouillon and into the net with 5:43 to play. Smith gave Boston the lead, and Lucic clinched it.
NOTES: The Bruins scratched Matt Bartkowski, who had the penalty at the end of Game 1, along with Justin Florek. Andrej Meszaros and Jordan Caron were added to the lineup. … Bruins F Shawn Thornton injured his right knee early in the third period when he went to check Subban but hit him awkwardly. … Lucic had a goal disallowed when replays clearly showed he punched it in with his glove. … The Bruins were 0 for 3 on the power play.