MONTREAL - The Bruins knew they needed to find a spark in Game 4 as they looked to even their best-of-seven Atlantic Division Final series with the Montreal Canadiens. Who knew that spark would come in the form of a guy who prior to Thursday night, had yet to play in a National Hockey League playoff game.
Apparently Matt Fraser was the spark that the Bruins needed. Fraser was acquired over the summer from the Dallas Stars in the deal that sent Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to Dallas. Spending most of the season in the American Hockey League, Fraser did suit up for the Bruins in 14 games this season, scoring twice in the process
After being recalled from the Providence Bruins once again early this morning, Fraser notched his first career playoff goal 1:19 into overtime to give the Bruins a Game 4 1-0 victory, tying the series with the Canadiens at two before heading back to Boston for Game 5 Saturday night.
Not a bad way for Fraser to end his first career National Hockey League playoff game.
ďAs you can tell in my voice, Iím pretty excited,Ē said Fraser. ďI hardly slept today and Iím sure Iíll hardly sleep tonight, but you know at the same time you got to keep it in perspective. This is one game to even the series and now we got to go back to Boston and come with the same effort.Ē
The Bruins are no strangers to big goals from unlikely heroes. From Justin Florek to Jordan Caron and now Fraser, the Bruins have gotten big goals from guys who have been in and out of the lineup all season.
As a kid growing up in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, Fraser had the same dream as a million other kids who have laced up the skates have had: scoring the overtime winning goal. Luckily enough for Fraser and the Bruins, this one was a little more important than some regular season overtime goal.
ďI canít repeat the words,Ē Fraser stated in regards to his thoughts when he saw the puck cross the line. ďExcitement again, I am still shaking with excitement. Again, itís every kids dream to score the overtime goal like that, and you know, contribute.Ē
Jarome Iginla has been in the league for 17 years, and I think itís safe to say Iginla has almost seen it all. Fraserís overtime playoff winning goal just hours after being recalled from the minor leagues is a first for Iginla.
ďNo, I never have. I think thatís pretty cool. I mean, obviously just getting the win, but itís a pretty neat story, you know those are what you dream off when youíre a kid, getting called up and OT goal, not only the OT goal, but the one goal in the whole game," said Iginla. "Weíre happy that anyone scored, but itís pretty cool, a pretty cool story."
The Bell Centre was rocking from start to finish as the passionate fans in Montreal tried to give the Canadiens as much of a home ice advantage as possible. Fraser has played in this building in the past, but nothing compared to what he saw Thursday night.
ďWow, I mean Iíve played two exhibition games here before. And then I was really like Ďokay, here we go againí. I mean thereís more people here in this media scrum then there is fans in Providence," Fraser said. "Thatís not a dis to Providence, but itís such a cool atmosphere here and such a cool moment.Ē
Losing Game 4 in Montreal Thursday night would have put the Bruins on the brink of elimination in Game 5, a situation that no one in the Bruinsí dressing room would want, but thanks to Fraserís unlikely heroism, the Bruins have themselves a whole new series with the Habs.
Now a best-of-three series, the Bruins hope that thereís a few more heroic efforts let in the teamís tank.
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