Of all the star players on the ice on Thursday night, it was Matt Fraser and Ben Lovejoy that came through with game-winning goals for their teams. Just like we all predicted.
5 things to know
Matt Fraser the unlikely hero
For most of the night it seemed like Tuukka Rask was not only going to have to stop every shot for the Boston Bruins, but also find a way to score a goal. Rask stopped all 35 shots he faced in a 1-0 shutout win as the Bruins missed on chance after chance, and continued to be blanked by Carey Price and the goal posts behind him. But in overtime it was the recently called-up Matt Fraser that was in the right place at the right time to score his first career playoff goal in his first career playoff game to tie the series at 2-2. Now it heads back to Boston for Game 5 on Saturday.
Matt Fraser's secret weapon: Chipotle
On Wednesday Matt Fraser said he was sitting in Chipotle trying to figure out what he was going to do with the rest of his day. On Thursday night, he was the overtime hero of a playoff game. Get on that endorsement, Boston.
Douglas Murray is not helping Montreal
Douglas Murray is the type of defenseman that people seem to love come playoff time. He's big. He's physical. He blocks shots. He will, every once in a while, deliver a huge hit. But he's no longer any good, and as he gets older and slower he becomes more and more of a liability. It didn't hurt Montreal in Game 3, but his presence in the lineup in Game 4 proved to be costly. Not only did he allow Fraser to get to a loose puck in front of the net on the overtime winner (the type of play Murray is supposed to prevent) but the Canadiens were outshot 10-1 in his 12 minutes of even-strength ice time, while the total shot attempts were 20-4 in favor of Boston during that time. The Canadiens pretty much gave Boston a power play every time they put Murray on the ice.
Bruce Boudreau's gamble pays off (sort of)
Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau decided to go with Frederik Andersen in Game 3 of their Western Conference second-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Kings, and for the first 50 minutes it was going as planned as Andersen stopped 22 of the 23 shots he faced. But he had to leave the game with 10 minutes to play after suffering some sort of a lower body injury and was replaced by Jonas Hiller, the losing goaltender in each of the first two games of the series. Hiller did give up a goal, but it wasn't until the final minute of regulation when the Ducks already had a two-goal lead.
Ben Lovejoy was a steal for Anaheim
Last season Ben Lovejoy lost out on a numbers game in Pittsburgh and just didn't seem to fit in its system. So the Penguins traded him to Anaheim for a draft pick and it's been a steal for Anaheim ever since. He scored his second goal of the playoffs on Thursday night late in the third period and proved to be the game-winner for the Ducks in their 3-2 win.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers Penguins lead series, 3-17 p.m. ET | NBCSN / CBC Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild Blackhawks lead series, 2-19:30 p.m. ET | NBCSN / TSN Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, Minn.