BROSSARD, Quebec — Dale Weise is finding out what it’s like to be a Montreal Canadien when they’re winning in the springtime.
Some were not happy when General Manager Marc Bergevin sent defenseman Raphael Diaz to the Vancouver Canucks for the little-known Weise on Feb. 3.
Now the energetic fourth-line winger is becoming a playoff star.
His breakaway goal in Game 3 of an NHL Eastern Conference semifinal Tuesday night became his second winner of the playoffs as the Canadiens downed the Boston Bruins 4-2 to take a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-seven series.
Weise had scored in overtime in the first game of an opening-round sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
His first taste of his new-found fame came this week when he was out for a stroll with his fiancee, with 7-month-old son Hunter in a stroller.
“This car pulled over right on the sidewalk,” Weise said Wednesday. “The guy was in the driver’s seat and I was on the right side.
“In the middle of the green light he’s reached across and he’s banging on the window and yelling. My fiancee’s like ‘what is this guy doing?’ She’s freaking out, and he’s giving me the thumbs-up. It was pretty outrageous.”
Weise will have a chance to increase his popularity even more in Game 4 on Thursday night at the Bell Centre as the Canadiens attempt to take a 3-1 series lead.
Taking a lead on the favored Bruins has built a considerable buzz in Montreal, but a series in which Boston has looked overwhelming at times is far from over.
The Canadiens blew 2-0 and 3-2 leads before winning in overtime in the series opener. Then they wasted a 3-1 lead by allowing four third-period goals in a 5-3 loss in Game 2 in Boston.
At home on Tuesday night, Montreal scored twice in the first period and made it 3-0 on Weise’s goal before the Bruins scored twice. Lars Eller ended the rally with a final-minute empty-net goal.
The Bruins acknowledge they did not have their best game, staring with goalie Tuukka Rask, who allowed three goals on 25 shots and who has allowed 10 in three games.
“We thought we were ready at the start but obviously we weren’t,” Bruins center David Krejci said.
Perhaps for the first time in the playoffs, they missed injured defense veterans Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid, as youngster Dougie Hamilton in particular struggled at times.
McQuaid is gone for the season and while Seidenberg is skating, there was no word on when he may return.
But the Bruins can never be counted out, as they’ve shown repeatedly in recent seasons.
“We’re a group that’s confident but we have guys now that are frustrated,” Boston Coach Claude Julien said. “They know they have to be better and they will be better.
“It’s a 2-1 series. It’s not the end of the world here. We’ve just got to battle back. There’s no reason to panic. We haven’t in the past and we’re not about to panic now.”
The Canadiens had surprises for Boston, including a tweak of the top two lines that saw Thomas Vanek put on the second unit with Tomas Plekanec and Michael Bournival while Brendan Gallagher moved up with David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty.
Montreal also got a strong 26-save outing from goalie Carey Price and a third straight two-point game from defenseman P.K. Subban, who has totaled 11 points in the past six playoff games.