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Bruins seize control over Canadiens in Game 5 victory

Bruins push Canadiens to the brink in Game 5
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Boston Bruins were close to falling out of the Stanley Cup playoffs if they weren't careful. If the Montreal Canadiens had just gotten one goal on the Bruins in Game 4, the Presidents Trophy winners would be fighting just to stay in the Stanley Cup playoffs in Game 5 on May 10. Yet following Game 5, it is the Canadiens on the brink of elimination after the Bruins took control with a 4-2 win.

Boston's 1-0 overtime victory in Game 4 on May 8 may well be the turning point of this series, if not the entire postseason. By sparing themselves from facing a 3-1 deficit going back home, the Bruins had it much easier in taking a 3-2 series lead going back to Montreal.

Carl Soderberg started the scoring for Boston in the first period, yet Montreal really lost by doing what it hadn't done in years. The Bruins hadn't scored a postseason power play goal on the Canadiens in their last 39 attempts, stretching back to their series in 2009. However, Reilly Smith and Jarome Iginla scored two of them just 36 seconds apart to start the second period.

Brendan Gallagher put the Canadiens on the board with a power play goal of his own, yet that alone wasn't enough. Loui Eriksson sealed it up for the Bruins by scoring with less than six minutes left, which triggered the Canadiens to pull goalie Carey Price early. Yet all Montreal could get was one tally from the pesky P.K. Subban for it.

The Bruins have already rallied from adversity in these Stanley Cup playoffs, as they've fallen behind by one game on three separate occasions. But they won four straight over the Detroit Red Wings after losing Game 1 of the first round, and have bounced back after each of Montreal's two victories in the second round. Now Boston has its first lead of this series, and may not give it up so easily.

The Canadiens may have blown their best chance to upset the Bruins, but they still have Game 6 in Montreal on May 12. One win there and then anything can happen in a Game 7 at Boston, as momentum has been quite fickle in the series. Nevertheless, Game 5 showed that it might be harder to turn back around now.

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