BOSTON — Patrice Bergeron’s goal after Mark Recchi plowed over Tim Kennedy in pursuit of a dump-in with 7:03 remaining in regulation lifted the Bruins over Buffalo, 2-1, tonight in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at TD Garden.
The Bruins now lead the series, two games to one, with Game 4 scheduled for Wednesday night on Causeway Street.
After surrendering a goal 6:57 into the contest on a shot by Mike Grier, rookie Tuukka Rask made his home playoff debut a game to remember with a total of 32 saves. Late in the third period, the Bruins crowd turned the clapping portion of the “Let’s Go Bruins” chant into a Took-Ka chant.
“It’s good,” said Rask. “Sometimes when you deserve it, when they do that, it’s great.”
•Even with the typically less-generous stats crew at the Garden keeping track, the Bruins were credited with 38 hits, led by Zdeno Chara and Vladimir Sobotka with six each.
“It’s very physical. There’s always a lot of battles (in the playoffs),” Chara said. “Everybody’s really hungry and playing with a lot of energy and emotion, so yeah, that’s pretty normal.”
Buffalo was credited with 39 hits.
•You can’t say enough about Johnny Boychuk, who’s hit on Matt Ellis at the Buffalo blue line early in the second period sent the Buffalo forward to the dressing room for a short respite and made the Garden vibrate.
“Yeah, it kind of gives the whole team a little boost, I think, and you know, it translates,” said Boychuk. “Our fans were great tonight. You could hear them before the game chanting, even from the room. It was pretty loud out there.”