Matt Fraser, Bruins even series with Habs in OT
Winger scores at 1:19 into extra period
Rookie Matt Fraser got to live a dream he had many times while growing up in Red Deer, Alta.
Fraser, called up Wednesday from AHL Providence and playing his first career NHL playoff game, scored 1:19 into overtime to give the Boston Bruins a 1-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens to even their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Thursday night.
The 23-year-old jumped into a scramble in front of goalie Carey Price's net and slid the puck under him into the net.
"It was bouncing around and I was just swatting at it as hard as I could and hoping it would hit something," said Fraser. "Price is such a good goalie. He doesn't give out a lot of rebounds. I might have got lucky there, but the puck wound up in the back of the net.
"It's something I dreamed about many times on the outdoor rinks growing up. It's every kid's dream to score in overtime."
Johnny Boychuk's point shot had taken a high hop off the end boards and Price and defenceman Mike Weaver had trouble controlling the bouncing puck.
The victory knotted the best-of-seven series at 2-2 with Game 5 set for Saturday night in Boston.
The Bruins outshot Montreal 34-33 in an intense, sometimes nervously played game that was less a goaltending duel between Price and Tuukka Rask as a match of determined, defensive teams.
"We knew how tight this series would be," said Boston coach Claude Julien. "It doesn't mean any more than that we've tied the series. It's been tight every game.
"It was important to get back in the series, but I don't think we've played our best hockey. We've played hard, but I've seen us play better. You hope the win here will help us get better and we'll go from there."
Canadiens coach Michel Therrien found no fault with his side, either, except that they didn't get a puck past Rask.
"This was a hard-nosed game between two well-prepared teams," he said. "We lost a battle in front of the net on the winning goal, but I'm pleased with our team's effort."
The teams played their first scoreless period in regulation time of the series in a tight-checking first marked mainly by icings and missed passes.
Boston's Carl Soderberg had the best chance in the final minute after P.K. Subban's blind back pass was intercepted, but Price looked to get a piece of it as it went off the cross-bar.
Another goal-less period followed as shooters misfired, particularly Max Pacioretty on a setup from Thomas Vanek, and both goalies held their ground. Each team went on the power play once, but even that failed to break the deadlock.
The Canadiens went on the attack in the third, peppering the Boston net and outshooting the Bruins 14-7. But the Bruins got a power play and Reilly Smith hit a goalpost, only to see Brian Gionta stoned by Rask alone in front of the net at the other end a moment later.