Boston 5, Montreal 2

April 26, 2002 at 12:06 AM
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MONTREAL, April 25 (UPI) -- P.J. Stock, Joe Thornton and Martin Lapointe scored first-period goals and Brian Rolston added a backbreaking, shorthanded tally in the second period Thursday night, leading the Boston Bruins to a 5-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Boston evened the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at two games apiece and regained the home-ice advantage. Game 5 will be Saturday at the FleetCenter.

Still smarting after giving up four unanswered goals in Tuesday night's 5-3 loss, the Bruins played with much more of an edge. But the game was marred by an ugly incident involving Boston's Kyle McLaren and Montreal's Richard Zednik late in the third period.

With 1:17 left and the contest out of reach, McClaren leveled Zednik with a left forearm to the face. Zednik, who scored a pair of power-play goals for the Canadiens, lay on the ice for several moments and was attended to by medical staff before being taken off on a stretcher.

Montreal Coach Michel Therrien was fuming after the game and promised retribution on Saturday.

"They were laughing at us all night, the Bruins," he said. "McLaren went after our best player. Wait until you see what we do on Saturday. We're gonna go after their best player. I don't care what my comments escalate. It will be a war on Saturday."

"If they come at me on Saturday, so may it be," Boston center Joe Thornton said. "I'm a big guy and I can take care of myself."

McLaren received a five-minute major for attempt to injure and likely is facing a suspension. However, Zednik suffered a broken jaw, a dislocated kneecap and a concussion. He is out for the rest of the playoffs.

As Zednik was being taken off the ice, Therrien screamed at the Bruins' bench. When played was resumed, a fan ran onto the ice at the Molson Centre.

"I didn't intend to injure anybody," McLaren said. "I've never done that in my career. Look at my record. It shows I'm a clean player. I can't talk about my suspension. I'm only thinking about the next game."

Therrien said he is looking for a lengthy suspension for McLaren.

"That was the dirtiest game I've ever seen," he said. "We're down, 5-2, and imagine the Bruins put P.J. Stock on the power play. He hardly played all night. (Toronto's) Tie Domi got eight games last season (for his hit on New Jersey's Scott

Niedermayer). It will be interesting to ses what the NHL does to McLaren."

"Don't ask me about that hit," Boston Coach Robbie Ftorek. "I have nothing to say about what McLaren did. I hate to see players laying on the ice, whether they're on my team or the other team."

While Ftorek was tight-lipped, Lapointe blamed the incident on the Canadiens coach.

"Michel Therrien has no class," he said. "All the fighting was his fault. He kept sending his players on the ice all night to give us dirty shots. I hate to see what happened to Zednik and I feel bad for him."

Zednik got the Canadiens on the board 5:44 into the second period and fired up the fans.

But it took only 90 seconds for the Bruins to regain the momentum. With Montreal on another power play, Rolston intercepted a crossing pass from Saku Koivu at the Boston blue line, used his speed to break in alone between two defenders and snapped a wrist shot between the legs of goaltender Jose Theodore to restore Boston's three-game margin.

Rolston led the NHL with nine shorthanded goals in the regular season.

The Canadiens closed within 4-2 on another power-play goal by Zednik 7:07 into the third, but the Bruins put away the contest on Sergei Samsonov's rebound goal with 5:40 left.

After Stock got the Bruins on the board just 2:49 into the contest, Montreal's Jan Bullis took a four-minute high sticking penalty with 5:44 left in the opening period.

It turned out to be a critical mistake as Boston cashed with two power-play goals. Thornton and Lapointe tallied 68 seconds apart to give Boston a 3-0 lead.

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