MONTREAL – The Boston Bruins are hoping to make the most of a second opportunity at home-ice advantage against the Montreal Canadiens.
Not that it has done either team any good so far.
Michael Ryder scored 1:59 into overtime to give Boston a 5-4 victory over Montreal on Thursday night, tying the first-round series 2-2.
Ryder, the former Canadiens winger who also scored in the second period, took Chris Kelly's pass from behind the net and shot past Carey Price.
The Bruins won both games at the Bell Centre after dropping the first two games of the Eastern Conference series at home. Game 5 is Saturday night in Boston.
"We didn't want to be down in the series 3-1, it would have been a tough one if that happened," Ryder said. "After we got down 3-1 we regrouped a bit and managed to get back to our game and we tied it up and just kept pushing from there. It's pretty exciting to score but I'm just happy that we won the game. That's all that matters right now and it's good to go home tied 2-2."
Kelly brought Boston even for the third time in the game, scoring with 6:18 left in the third period. Wearing a cage on his helmet for the first time since he was a teenager, Kelly put away a loose puck at his feet in the goalmouth for his second of the series.
Patrice Bergeron and Andrew Ference added goals for the Bruins. Tim Thomas made 34 saves.
"I thought it showed a lot of character coming back and battling hard," Kelly said. "Timmy made those big saves to give us a fighting chance and we took advantage of it."
Michael Cammalleri had a goal and two assists for Montreal, and Brent Sopel, Andrei Kostitsyn and P.K. Subban also scored. The Canadiens, who held a 29-12 advantage in shots after Kostitsyn's goal 7:47 into the second, blew leads of 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3.
"We had the momentum in our play in the first half of the game and then they took it away with their play in the second half," coach Jacques Martin said.
Subban gave Montreal a 4-3 lead 1:39 into the third on the Canadiens' first power play after Bergeron was called for hooking at 37 seconds. The rookie defenseman's shot through traffic sailed past Thomas into the top of the net, touching off yet another thundering ovation on a night of swings in the highly charged atmosphere.
Price stopped 30 shots, including a sprawling desperation glove save on Johnny Boychuk moments after Subban's go-ahead goal.
Boston killed its second penalty late in the third when Dennis Seidenberg was called for interference with 2:19 left.
"I don't think we stopped playing," Cammalleri said. "We had some great chances to finish it. We had a really good power play, we had a good chance in overtime first."
Bruins coach Claude Julien used his timeout after Kostitsyn's goal put Montreal up by two.
"We knew we could do it," Bergeron said. "We knew we had to be better and we had to just find a way to have a huge shift and get the momentum back, and we did that and we got the big goal and that was it."
Ference made an obscene gesture — which he said happened accidentally — to the capacity crowd of 21,273 after he drove a slap shot past Price midway through the second to draw Boston to 3-2.
"I think my glove got caught up," Ference said. "I can assure you that's not part of who I am or what I ever have been. It looks awful, I admit it. I completely apologize about how it looks."
Bergeron, who assisted on Ference's goal, tied it at 3 with 2:56 left in the second.
Brad Marchand assisted on both goals.
Sopel scored on a slap shot from the right point 8:13 in as Montreal enjoyed a 15-8 advantage in shots in the first.
Ryder silenced the crowd when he tied it 2:13 into the second. Ryder took Tomas Kaberle's long lead pass at the blue line and got behind defenseman Jaroslav Spacek to beat Price with a shot into the top of the net.
The Canadiens regained the momentum and Cammalleri brought the cheers to a crescendo when he restored Montreal's one-goal lead 6:52 into the second.
Kostitsyn made it 3-1 55 seconds later. The Belorusian right wing drove the net to jam Tomas Plekanec's centering pass home past Thomas.
NOTES: Montreal has gone on to lose the series the previous two times it has opened 2-0 on the road. Ryder scored in overtime for the Canadiens on the road in the second game of their first-round series against Carolina in 2006. Montreal dropped the next four games. Bruins RW Mark Recchi, who played for the Hurricanes in that series, also was with the Canadiens when they faced the same fate against the New York Rangers in 1996. ... Kelly sustained a facial injury when he was pushed into the Montreal goal by Scott Gomez on Monday night. ... Henri Richard brought out the Canadiens' torch to begin the pregame presentation. Richard won a record 11 Stanley Cups with Montreal between 1956 and 1973. ... Jeff Halpern made his Canadiens playoff debut after missing the last four games of the regular season and the first three of the series because of a lower-body injury. LW Benoit Pouliot was left out of the lineup.