Rapid Reaction: Habs 3, Bruins 2 (OT)

MONTREAL -- For the second time in their past four games, the Boston Bruins blew a third-period lead and handed a division rival two points they should’ve taken home.

The Bruins let up two Montreal goals -- by Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta -- in the final three minutes of regulation and then lost in overtime on a Max Pacioretty goal 3:43 into the extra frame. Boston had led 2-0 until the Gomez goal 17:38 into the third period but was clearly outplayed throughout the third before the roof finally caved in.

Patrice Bergeron had two lamplighters for the Bruins, who are now tied in points with Montreal but are still in first place in the Northeast Division because they have two games in hand. The Bruins will play at Pittsburgh Monday.

Here are some quick thoughts after the loss Saturday:

"Prevent defense prevents you from winning." Legendary NFL head coach Bill Parcells used to always say that line but the Bruins apparently never got the memo. Entering the third period Saturday, the Bruins seemed to be in control of this one with a 2-0 lead but then sat back and let the Habs come to them. The speedy Montreal forwards scored three unanswered goals and outshot the Bruins 23-8 in the third period and overtime. The Bruins have been notorious for doing this a lot this season and depending on their goalies too much in crunch time. They need to keep attacking no matter what the score or the tempo of the game is.

Bergeron en fuego. Coming back to his home province and playing against the team he grew up cheering against as a Nordiques fan always seems to fire up Patrice Bergeron. The fire was burning Saturday night as Bergeron scored twice. He now has two goals and two assists in his past two games at the Bell Centre. But Montreal hasn’t been the only place where Bergeron has been lighting it up lately, as he has five points in his past six games and eleven in his past 12. The offensive side of this two-way player has been on full display lately, and it’s coming at a good time for a team that struggles to score.

Thomas well-rested and solid again. Tim Thomas was back between the pipes for the first time in three games and looked refreshed and like his normal superhuman self, making 39 saves in the loss. Thomas quieted a rowdy Habs crowd that serenaded him with “Thhhooommmaasss” chants throughout the first two periods. He might want the Scott Gomez goal with 2:22 left back but he definitely looked like the Vezina Trophy candidate he’s been all season. You can’t blame him on the game-tying goal by Brian Gionta with 47.7 seconds left in regulation nor the overtime winner by Max Pacioretty.

After further review. The Habs had two goals reviewed in the third period and, unfortunately for the Bruins, the second one, when Brian Gionta tied the game at two with 47.7 seconds left, stood to send the game to overtime. Earlier in the period, Canadiens forward Mathieu Darche had a goal waived off, as his stick was too high.

Horton misses first game as a Bruin. Nathan Horton missed his first game as a Boston Bruin on Saturday night with an undisclosed injury, or “discomfort” as head coach Claude Julien termed it Saturday morning. Horton had left practice early Friday and was doubtful for the game. Daniel Paille entered the lineup as a result. The starting lines went as follows:

Milan Lucic-Marc Savard-Michael Ryder

Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi

Blake Wheeler-David Krejci-Tyler Seguin

Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

More power play struggles. Once again, the Bruins found themselves in a tight, low-coring affair Saturday night and once again, they failed to use their power play as a way to pull away from the opponent. Boston was 0–for-3 on the man advantage and has now failed to register a power-play goal since Mark Recchi scored the game-winning goal on the power play with 20 seconds left to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 28.

Savard invisible again. Apparently line changes and a benching last game couldn’t shake Marc Savard out of his funk, as the Bruins center had no points and no shots in 16:49 of ice time. Savard now has only six points in 17 games played since returning from post-concussion syndrome. He is clearly not himself out there and seems to be forcing plays and lacking the instinct that has made him one the NHL’s most dangerous playmakers.

No carryover from the Dec. 16 Subban hit on Marchand. There was plenty of speculation that there could be a carryover from the last time these two teams met here at the Bell Centre and the monstrous hit P.K. Subban laid on Brad Marchand. In the immediate aftermath of the hit, Gregory Campbell went after Subban and was slew-footed by the rookie Habs defenseman. The Bruins were not happy about the slew-foot, and word in the dressing room was that payback may be issued but it didn’t happen Saturday.