Both teams missed plenty of chances before the Canadiens scored on a power play in the last minute of the second period.
Now the Bruins have very little chance after losing 1-0 on Tuesday night.
Down 3-1 and returning to Montreal where it lost the first two games, Boston must win Thursday night or finish its eighth straight season without making it past the first round. Their meager offensive output &
five goals in the first four games &
doesn't bode well.
"When we had a chance to capitalize tonight and we had some great opportunities, we didn't bury them," first-year Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "Sometimes it's those little details that make the big difference."
Julien has been down 3-1 before and come back to win a best-of-seven series. It happened in 2004 when he coached Montreal against Boston.
"You don't want to start comparing. You don't want to start thinking that those things just happen that easily," Julien said. "You've got to think about winning the next game. ... You don't look at the fact you have to win the next three. It's too big of a picture."
In other NHL playoff games on Tuesday night, it was: Philadelphia 6, Washington 3; Anaheim 4, Dallas 2; San Jose 3, Calgary 2; and Colorado 5, Minnesota 1.
The Bruins are 0-20 in series they trailed 3-1. And the 2004 team didn't have a goalie as hot as 20-year-old rookie Carey Price, who has allowed seven goals in the Canadiens past seven games and posted his first playoff shutout.
He saved all 27 shots and stopped point-blank attempts by Glen Murray and Glen Metropolit in the second half of the second period. Then the Bruins swarmed around the net in the final minute of the game.
"It came right down to the last 10 seconds," Price said. "The guys would have blocked shots with their teeth tonight. That's the kind of hockey you need to win. It is the way we have to play the next game."
Tim Thomas also stopped 27 shots for Boston and never saw the one that got behind him &
a power-play goal from 30 feet by 17-year veteran Patrice Brisebois with 42 seconds left in the second period.
"I saw him winding up to take the shot and then I lost it," Thomas said. "I couldn't see the puck because it was buried in the net. And then I saw the Canadiens celebrating."
A bigger celebration may be coming after Game 5 unless the Bruins, a mediocre offensive team to begin with, can do a better job against Price.
"Right now he's in the comfort zone and it's going to be tough to get him out of it," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said.
Flyers 6, Capitals —
At Philadelphia, Danny Briere has played more like the top player in the league than likely MVP Alex Ovechkin, scoring two more goals with an assist, helping Philadelphia take a 2-1 series lead.
The Flyers scored three goals in a 2:33 span in the first period. Briere scored first, and after Eric Fehr quickly tied the game with his first playoff goal, Scottie Hartnell and Sami Kapanen scored 17 seconds apart to give Philadelphia a 3-1 lead.
Mike Green's power-play goal pulled the Capitals to 3-2 at 7:28 of the second, and Briere restored the two-goal lead with 9.8 seconds left in the period.
Ducks 4, Stars 2
At Dallas, Chris Pronger scored two power-play goals after assisting on Anaheim's first goal, and the Ducks cut their series deficit to 2-1.
Dallas lost for the seventh time in its last eight home playoff games and missed a chance to take a commanding 3-0 series lead in the first-round Western Conference playoff series.
Todd Marchant, Ryan Getzlaf and Pronger scored three goals on four shots in the first 141/2 minutes. Pronger scored again about 51/2 minutes into the second period. Stars captain Brenden Morrow scored two power-play goals 1:39 apart in the third period, but Jean-Sebastien Giguere held firm the rest of the way.
Avalanche 5, Wild —
At Denver, Jose Theodore stopped 24 of 25 shots and Colorado used a three-goal first-period to rout Minnesota and tie the first-round playoff series at two games each.
The first three games of the series &
as well as the last two when these two teams met in the 2003 playoffs &
all went into overtime and ended in 3-2 scores.
Minnesota collected an astounding 111 minutes of penalty time, 24 by Derek Boogaard, who was ejected, and 35 by Stephane Veilleux, who received a 10-minute misconduct that was assessed at game's end. Colorado collected 43 minutes of penalty time.
Andrew Brunette, Wojtek Wolski and Tyler Arnason scored in a 7:07 span of the first to give the Avalanche a 3-0 lead a little more than 11 minutes into the game. Ruslan Salei and Milan Hejduk added power-play scores in the second to make it 5-0.
Mikko Koivu spoiled Theodore's shutout bid with a short-handed goal at 3:11 of the third period.
Sharks 3, Flames 2
At Calgary, Alberta, Joe Thornton scored with just 9.4 seconds left in regulation to help San Jose even the first-round series.
Thornton tipped Douglas Murray's shot from the point past Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff to win a game the Sharks trailed twice.
The Flames set a franchise low for shots on goal in a playoff game, mustering just 10 against the Sharks' Evgeni Nabokov. The previous low was 15.
Ryane Clowe scored his fourth of the series and Jonathan Cheechoo had his first for the Sharks.
Flames captain Jarome Iginla had a goal and an assist and Dion Phaneuf also scored. Kiprusoff, who was pulled just 31/2 minutes into Sunday's Game — after giving up three goals, stopped 29 shots.
Price-led Canadiens take 3-1 series lead