Subban, Weise lead Canadiens past Bruins 4-2; Montreal leads series 2-1
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, May 6, 2014 10:03PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 7, 2014 1:06PM EDT
MONTREAL -- P.K. Subban is having a series to remember for the Montreal Canadiens
Subban, Dale Weise and Lars Eller each had a goal and an assist and Carey Price made 26 saves as the Canadiens downed the Boston Bruins 4-2 on Tuesday night to take the lead in their NHL Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series.
Montreal leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 with Game 4 slated for Thursday night at the Bell Centre.
Subban, the 2013 Norris trophy winner as the NHL's top defenceman, has two points in each of the three games of the series and 11 points in seven playoff games so far.
"We're playing well as a team," said Subban. "I'm just the beneficiary of the guys playing well around me, supporting me.
"It starts in goal. Well, it actually starts with our coaching staff and making sure everybody is feeling confident. We're doing it together. It starts with Pricey. From our defence to our forwards. We're sticking together. When we had adversity, we're sticking together doing the right things.
"It's fun to play on teams where you know guys are going to support you."
Tomas Plekanec also scored for Montreal, which was outplayed for long stretches but made the most of quick-strike attacks.
Patrice Bergeron and Andrej Meszaros scored for the Bruins, who outshot Montreal 28-26.
For the third straight game in the series, the Canadiens held a 3-1 lead in the third period but, for the first time, didn't let it completely slip away.
Tuukka Rask was pulled with 2:20 left to play and only four seconds later, Meszaros beat Price with a high shot through traffic off a feed from Milan Lucic. But the Bruins failed to get the equalizer in the frantic final minute. Then Eller got loose to score into an empty net with three seconds on the clock.
"We weren't as good as them in the first period and that cost us," said Bruins forward Jarome Iginla. "After that, we were playing catch-up.
"We found a way to get ourselves back in it, but the first period was the biggest difference in the game. We weren't as sharp as them early."
Canadian anthem singer Ginette Reno had the 21,273 at the Bell Centre at maximum loudness to start the game, but after an early flurry, the Bruins took control of the puck through the first 10 minutes of play.
Then Michael Bournival made a gritty play to get the puck around the boards to Subban, who left it for Thomas Vanek for a diagonal pass that gave Plekanec a shot into an open side for his third of the playoffs at 10:57.
Subban was sent off for roughing after a high hit on Reilly Smith that also took out Vanek, sending the Austrian to the clinic with an apparent right leg problem. He returned for the second period.
Eller sent Subban in on a breakaway when the Canadiens defenceman left the penalty box. He put a deke on Rask and scored on a low forehand shot at 14:44.
Mike Weaver blocked a shot that went to Daniel Briere, who sent Weise in on a breakaway with a pass up the middle. The fourth-line winger beat Rask between the pads at 13:52 of the second.
Bergeron won a face-off from Plekanec in the Montreal zone and reached across himself to deflect Torey Krug's point shot past Price with 2:12 left in the middle period.
Montreal coach Michel Therrien tweaked his lines, moving Vanek to the second unit with Plekanec and putting Brendan Gallagher on the top line.