After leading his team to a 4-3 double-overtime win in Game 1 with a 48-save performance, Price showed his strength between the pipes again early in Game 2 on Saturday at TD Garden. Montreal had a 3-1 lead in the third period, but the Bruins mounted a comeback and scored four goals (one empty-netter) en route to a 5-3 win to even the second-round Stanley Cup playoff series at a game apiece.
"It was huge," Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton said. "If we lost that game, the series is pretty close to being over going up there."
Until Hamilton scored at 10:56 of the third to cut Boston's deficit to 3-2, the Bruins had generated just one shot in the period. Hamilton's tally put a hole in the dam, and Price couldn't stop the leaks.
"It was a bit of a relief to get that [first one] by him," Hamilton said. "We got more energy and the crowd got into it. Everything changed, the momentum and the emotion."
Added Hamilton, "We wanted to take his confidence away. We started rolling, and I'm not sure if they started panicking, or what. You hope he starts holding his stick a little tighter.
"With us, once we get that first goal [in the third period], everyone knows it will happen again. It's just a feeling. Everyone turns it up, and we put them on their heels."
"They're huge," Bergeron said of getting the bounces. "Obviously, that goal is definitely a lucky bounce, but you need them once in awhile. We didn't get them in the first two [periods], and I finally got him there, but we need to show a little more intensity around the net and really bear down on our chances."
In Game 1, the Bruins missed numerous quality scoring chances. Either the puck sailed wide, or Price made a timely save. It got to a point where even Boston's top-line center David Krejci was left shaking his head in disbelief.
Through the first two periods of Game 2, it seemed that would be the case again.
"It's tough, sometimes, to stay with it when it's not necessarily going your way," Bergeron said. "With that being said, we have to. You have to find a way. You have to keep pushing. You have to keep fighting and that's something we said after the second. We all stepped up and found a way."
Price called Boston's third-period surge "lucky."
"Well, they poured it on at the end of the game," he said. "They got pretty lucky, I thought. They were playing desperate at the end of the game, and they found a way to put it in the net. We've just got to regroup, realize the situation we're in, we're in a good spot and move forward.
For Games 3 and 4, the series shifts to Montreal's Bell Centre, where Price played one of his better games of the season to beat the Bruins 2-1 on Dec. 5, finishing with 32 saves in his only regular-season appearance against Boston.
The Bruins' task will be tough, but now they have the confidence they can beat him.