Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Rich Peverley's goal early in the second period proved to be the game-winning goal as the Boston Bruins took a much- needed 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 3 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
Boston had dropped the first two games of the series at home, but got 34 saves from Tim Thomas on Monday to cut Montreal's lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
"I was lucky to be able to hold them tonight," said Thomas. "Not too many rebounds. It's about time, I was happy to get this win, I needed it. It all worked out good."
David Krejci and Nathan Horton had first-period goals while Chris Kelly's empty-netter sealed the win for the Bruins, who had managed just one goal in the first two games.
Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara was back to play after sitting out Game 2 as he was hospitalized with dehydration. He had an assist in the game and played over 26 minutes.
"Chara makes a huge difference, he's one of the more important players in the league and the most important on this team," said Thomas. "It's harder to play without him. The last game we weren't able to get it done without him."
Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn each lit the lamp while Carey Price, who stopped 65 shots in the first two games, was tagged for three goals on 24 shots in the loss.
"We weren't as focused as we were in Boston," said Price. "They were buzzing in the first half with a full court press. They traded a lot of opportunities off their forecheck and we were sitting back on our heels in the beginning."
Game 4 of this set between Original Six clubs is set for Thursday in Montreal.
Boston used a three-goal barrage to take a commanding lead as Peverley capped the scoring 2:02 into the second period as Price tried to clear a dump-in, but the puck hit off of Mark Recchi and Peverley dumped the gift into the empty net.
Montreal, though, got one back five minutes later as Michael Cammalleri left a drop pass at the top of the right circle for Kostitsyn, who bulled to the right side of the net and was able to slip a backhand between the pads of Thomas.
It was a one-goal game 4:08 into the final period when Plekanec took the puck into the Boston end down the right side and from the low right circle he spun around and fired a shot on net that made it in.
Thomas, though, was able to preserve the lead with a big stop on a Kostitsyn shot down low with 4 1/2 minutes to play, and Kelly's empty-netter with 26 seconds left sealed the win.
Boston took a 1-0 lead 3:11 into the game when Patrice Bergeron sent a pass from the deep right boards to the front and Krejci buried the one-timer to give Boston its first lead of the series.
The Bruins took a two-goal lead 14:38 into the first when Chara's left point shot hit off the back boards and, from the left side, Horton was able to swing it in.
Boston was 0-for-4 on the power play while Montreal went 0-for-5...This is the 33rd playoff series between these two teams and Montreal has won 24 of them. Boston, though, has taken five of the last eight...Cammalleri assisted on both Montreal goals.