The Boston Bruins didn't start the Stanley Cup playoffs well at first. Yet after the Bruins were stunned in their first game with the Detroit Red Wings, they didn't lose again until dropping their next Game 1 to the Montreal Canadiens. Although Boston's latest recovery in the Stanley Cup playoffs wasn't as smooth on May 3, it still drew even with Montreal thanks to four third-period goals to cap a 5-3 victory.
For the second straight series, the Bruins salvaged an opening split at home and now look to take control on the road. It didn't come as easy this time, with the Canadiens taking a 2-1 lead heading into the third period. Once Montreal took a 3-1 lead on Thomas Vanek's second power play goal of the afternoon, Boston was in serious danger of a 2-0 series deficit and much more.
The Boston comeback to come started on a Dougie Hamilton goal with just over nine minutes left. Over three minutes later, Patrice Bergeron got the Bruins even, which could have set the stage for the second overtime of this series. Instead, it paved the way for Reilly Smith to put Boston ahead for good with under four minutes left.
The capper came on an empty net strike from Milan Lucic, giving the Bruins four goals in a seven minute, 58 second stretch. The Canadiens suffered their first loss of these Stanley Cup playoffs in stunning fashion, but now they have to hope they aren't too stunned.
Montreal got what it wanted in taking home-ice advantage, although it had the chance to do much more, just like it did when it swept the Tampa Bay Lightning. Can the Canadiens stand tall in their first bit of adversity in the postseason, like the Bruins did after each of their Game 1 defeats?
Should this series goes like the last one for the Bruins, they will take care of business in Montreal and return home ready to put the Canadiens away. Yet Montreal started the second round just like it did in the first, only to see the pattern broken late in Game 2. If the Canadiens break the Bruins' Stanley Cup playoff pattern by taking either Game 3 or 4 -- if not both -- what will Boston do then?
The Bruins will still try to make history repeat itself in Game 3 on May 6.