Reilly Smith scored with 3:32 remaining in the third period as host Boston overcame a late two-goal deficit to even its Eastern Conference second-round series with Montreal at one game apiece.
Patrice Bergeron collected a goal and an assist and Daniel Paille, Milan Lucic and defenseman Dougie Hamilton also tallied for the Bruins, who scored four times in under an eight-minute stretch in the third. Boston, which travels to the Bell Centre for Game 3 on Tuesday, split its two regular-season meetings in Montreal — dropping a 2-1 decision on Dec. 5 before breezing to a 4-1 triumph on March 12.
Thomas Vanek scored a pair of power-play goals and defenseman Mike Weaver also tallied for the Canadiens, who have scored four times with the man advantage in the series. Defenseman P.K. Subban notched a pair of assists in the setback.
After Vanek’s offensive explosion gave Montreal a 3-1 lead, Hamilton’s wrist shot from the point trimmed the deficit midway into the third before Bergeron’s bid from along the right-wing boards fluttered past Carey Price (30 saves) with 5:43 left. Reilly deposited defenseman Torey Krug’s circle-to-circle pass into the net to give Boston a 4-3 lead before Lucic sealed the win with an empty-net goal with 66 seconds to play.
With Bruins defenseman Andrej Meszaros serving a roughing penalty, Subban wired a pass from the left circle that deflected off Vanek’s stick in front and past Vezina Trophy finalist Tuukka Rask (25 saves) to give the Canadiens a 2-1 lead with 1:51 remaining in the second period. The Montreal contingent teamed up again as Subban’s blast from the point was chipped home by Vanek at 6:30 of the third.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Subban netted a pair of power-play goals in Montreal’s 4-3 double-overtime victory on Thursday. The Canadiens are 4-for-9 with the man advantage in the series. … Lucic nearly gave his team a 2-1 lead late in the second period, but officials reviewed the play and deemed that the burly star batted the puck into the net with his glove. … Boston’s Andrej Meszaros replaced fellow D Matt Bartkowski in the lineup and promptly notched an assist on Paille’s first-period tally before committing a costly roughing penalty. Meszaros was making his first postseason appearance since Game 2 of the first-round series versus Detroit. Bartkowski was whistled for holding RW Dale Weise in double overtime of Game 1, leading to Subban’s winning tally.