Game 3 Rapid Reaction: Habs 4, Bruins 2

MONTREAL -- This time, the Boston Bruins couldn’t mount a third-period comeback as the Montreal Canadiens earned a 4-2 victory in Game 3 of the teams' second-round Stanley Cup playoff series Tuesday night at Bell Centre.

With the win, Montreal took a 2-1 series lead with Game 4 here Thursday.

The Bruins trailed 3-0 late in the second period, then narrowed the gap to 3-2 late in the third, but couldn’t finish the comeback.

The Canadiens received goals from Tomas Plekanec, P.K. Subban, Dale Weise and Lars Eller (empty net), while goaltender Carey Price finished with 26 saves. Montreal also blocked 29 shots.

Patrice Bergeron and Jarome Iginla scored for Boston, while goalie Tuukka Rask finished with 22 saves.

In Game 1, the Bruins erased third-period deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 before eventually losing 4-3 in double overtime. In Game 2, Boston erased a two-goal, third-period deficit to win 5-3, but the Bruins couldn’t extend the comeback magic in Game 3.

There were only two penalties called in the game -- one for each team -- but the Bruins will need more physicality and more traffic in front of Price for Game 4.

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara missed a few minutes early in the first period. It appeared he suffered a left hand injury, and after being checked by a trainer on the bench, Chara went to the locker room. He returned a few minutes later and showed no ill effects.

The Canadiens grabbed an early lead when Plekanec scored a backdoor goal at 10:57 of the first period. The Bruins couldn't clear the puck and Montreal capitalized. Plekanec was all alone on the far post when teammate Thomas Vanek made the pass from the right faceoff circle. Iginla didn't get to Plekanec in time before the Canadiens forward pumped a shot past a sprawling Rask.

The Bruins had a chance to rebound on their first power play of the game, but couldn't capitalize with Subban in the box. With time expiring on the penalty, the Canadiens gained control of the puck and Eller sprang Subban with a pass as he was coming out of the box. Subban broke in alone on Rask and beat the Boston goalie to give Montreal a 2-0 lead at 14:44.

In the second period, the Bruins created a bit of a surge but couldn’t get rewarded for their effort, and when Montreal scored its third goal of the game, it served as a crushing blow for Boston. The Canadiens’ Daniel Briere threaded a pass to Weise, who broke in alone on Rask and beat him 5-hole to give Montreal a 3-0 lead at 13:52 of the second period.

The Bruins finally got on the board to cut their deficit to 3-1 when Bergeron scored at 17:48. With the faceoff to the left of Price, Bergeron won the drop back to defenseman Torey Krug. Bergeron moved to the front of the net and redirected Krug’s shot past Price.

Boston kept its pressure going in the third period and narrowed its deficit when Iginla scored at 17:44. He redirected a shot by defenseman Andrej Meszaros and beat Price, but that would be as close as the Bruins would get.