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MailTribune.com
  • Subban, Weise lead Canadiens past Bruins in Game 3

  • MONTREAL — P.K. Subban has picked the right time to go on an offensive tear.
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  • MONTREAL — P.K. Subban has picked the right time to go on an offensive tear.
    The 2013 Norris Trophy winner had his third straight two-point game with a goal and an assist, and the Montreal Canadiens held off the Boston Bruins for a 4-2 victory Tuesday to take the lead in their NHL Eastern Conference playoff series.
    The Canadiens are up 2-1 with Game 4 set for Thursday in Montreal.
    Subban has 11 points in seven playoff games.
    "I'm just the beneficiary of the guys playing well around me, supporting me," the defenseman said. "It starts in goal. Well, it actually starts with our coaching staff and making sure everybody is feeling confident. We're doing it together. ... When we had adversity, we're sticking together doing the right things.
    "It's fun to play on teams where you know guys are going to support you."
    Lars Eller and fourth-line winger Dale Weise also had a goal and an assist, and Tomas Plekanec scored Montreal's other goal.
    Patrice Bergeron and Andrej Meszaros scored for the Bruins.
    Subban became the third Canadiens defensemen with three consecutive games of more than one point in the playoffs, after Larry Robinson in 1978 and 1987 and J.C. Tremblay in 1971.
    While Montreal has stolen home-ice advantage from the Bruins, the series between the longtime rivals is hardly over. Boston outshot Montreal 28-26, hemmed in the Canadiens in their end for long stretches, and looked nothing like a team that is overmatched and demoralized.
    But unlike the first two games, the Bruins were unable to erase a two-goal deficit. Their frantic third-period comeback fell short, and Eller ended it with an empty-net goal with three seconds left.
    "I don't think we played badly. We just made stupid mistakes that ended up costing us the game," said Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. "We have to get rid of those and keep playing like we're playing.
    "You're three goals behind and it's tough. You battle back, but time's running out. We have to try to get that lead and play with the lead."
    For the third straight game, the Canadiens held a 3-1 lead in the third period. This time, they didn't let it slip away. In Game 2 on Saturday in Boston, the Bruins scored four goals in the final 10 minutes for a 5-3 comeback win.
    Rask was pulled with 2:20 left. Only four seconds later, Meszaros beat Price with a high shot through traffic off a feed from Milan Lucic.
    Wild 4, Blackhawks 0
    At St. Paul, Minn., Erik Haula and Mikael Granlund scored goals less than 3 minutes apart early in the third period, and the Minnesota Wild recovered from a sluggish start for a victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal series.
    Ilya Bryzgalov made 19 saves for his first shutout in the playoffs in eight years, and the Blackhawks had their lead whittled to 2-1 with their first loss in 21/2; weeks.
    Zach Parise put the exclamation point on the win with a power-play goal, the first in 25 chances for the Wild over their last two playoff series against the Blackhawks. Then Granlund tacked on an empty-netter with 1:17 left.
    Corey Crawford stopped only 14 shots for the Blackhawks, who dropped their first two games to St. Louis in the last round before winning four in a row. Since losing to the Blues on April 19, they took the lead in all six games and outscored their opponents 23-9.
    The announced attendance of 19,416 was the most in franchise history, but the atmosphere didn't match that until shortly after the second intermission. Pucks were whizzing way wide of the net, and clogged shooting lanes led to plenty of thwarted opportunities for both sides. Then Haula finally brought the fans to their feet.
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