Montreal netminder Carey Price delivered the perfect response to Boston Bruins' claims they had figured out the key to beating him, standing tall in the Canadiens' 4-2 win in Game Three of their Eastern Conference semi-final series.
After comments from the Bruins that Price could be exposed by shooting high on him, the goalie posted 26 saves to give the Canadiens a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-seven series.
Price had to be sharp until the very end, however, as Montreal's 3-0 lead was cut by goals from Boston's Patrice Bergeron in the second period and Jarome Iginla with 2:16 left in the game.
The Bruins made a similar charge in Game Two where they erased a 3-1 deficit in the final 10 minutes to win 5-3.
On Tuesday the Canadiens got first-period scores from Tomas Plekanec and P.K. Subban and a second-period goal from Dale Weise. Lars Eller converted an empty-net shot in the final seconds to ward off the Bruins' rally.
"This is something we did well all year - play with the lead and make sure we finished the job," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said.
"Again, tonight guys were battling and Carey (Price) made some key saves at the right time."
Eller, Weise and Subban each added an assist.
For Subban, it was his fifth multi-point game of the play-offs and comes after he delivered the game-winning overtime goal in the series opener.
"He's playing good hockey," Price said of Subban, the 2012-13 Norris Trophy winner. "He's controlling his emotions very well, he's being very composed. He's a big part of our hockey team. When he's going, we're all going."
Game Four is on Thursday in Montreal.
- - -
Mikael Granlund scored twice in Minnesota Wild's 4-0 win over the Chicago Blackhawks that trimmed their deficit in the Western Conference semi-final series on Tuesday.
After losing both of the opening games of the matchup by three goals apiece, the Wild returned home with a vengeance and used a four-goal third period to cut Chicago's best-of-seven edge to 2-1.
Minnesota has been rejuvenated by their home crowd throughout the playoffs during which they are 4-0 on home ice.
"They just keep outdoing themselves," Minnesota's Zach Parise told reporters, of the team's boisterous fans.
"They really pushed us on."
After a scoreless game through two periods, Erik Haula got the Wild on the board with a tip-in at 1:41 in the third.
Granlund followed with a score less than three minutes later while Parise tallied a goal late and Granlund put in an empty-netter.
On the other end, Minnesota goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov needed only 19 saves for the shutout.
Bryzgalov, who was forced into action when Darcy Kuemper was injured in Game Seven of the Wild's opening-round series with Colorado, enjoyed his first postseason shutout since the 2006 playoffs, when he played for the Anaheim Ducks.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks had their six-game winning streak snapped and suffered their first shutout of the playoffs.
"No one said it was going to be easy," said Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford, who made 14 stops. "They are a tough team. They play hard and they showed us they have some skill."
Game Four is on Friday in Minnesota.
- Ice Hockey
- Sports & Recreation
- Carey Price
- Boston Bruins
- Minnesota Wild