MONTREAL -- Matt Fraser literally was shaking with excitement.
The 23-year-old forward had just scored at 1:19 of overtime to help the Boston Bruins to a 1-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 4 of their second-round Stanley Cup playoff series Thursday night at Bell Centre. The win evened the series at two games apiece with Game 5 Saturday at TD Garden.
Fraser, who was called up from the Providence Bruins of the AHL on Wednesday, stood in the lower concourse outside the Bruins locker room Thursday night surrounded by a media horde. His voice was cracking and his hands were shaking.
"Words can't even describe how I feel," said Fraser, who was sporting the team's vintage Bruins jacket awarded to the player of the game by his teammates. "I just watched the replay of it and I don't even want to begin to try to explain it because that's something I wish every kid could feel."
On the goal, the Bruins created a scrum in front of Montreal goaltender Carey Price, and Fraser was able to dig out the puck and slip it past Price, who had made 34 saves in the game. The Bruins players on the ice and on the bench erupted with excitement and mobbed Fraser.
The first thing he wanted to do after the game was call his parents.
"It's the most important that I talk to my parents," Fraser said. "I always try to talk to my parents after the game. Hopefully my dad was impressed with this one."
Early Wednesday afternoon, Fraser sat at a Chipotle restaurant in Providence, R.I., thinking about his upcoming Calder Cup playoff series against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney called Fraser and informed him of his promotion. Fraser quickly put down his double-chicken burrito with guacamole and no cheese, and before packing his things for his flight to Montreal he still had time to grab a frozen yogurt.
After the Bruins' morning skate, he still didn't know whether he would be in the lineup. Prior to the team meeting in the afternoon, Fraser was told he would be making his NHL playoff debut. He played on the third line with Loui Eriksson and Carl Soderberg, and finished with 14:44 of ice time.
"I hardly slept today. I'm sure I'll hardly sleep tonight," Fraser said. "But at the same time, you've got to keep it in perspective. This is one game and we've evened the series. Now we've got to go back to Boston and come with the same effort."
Bruins assistant captain Patrice Bergeron can appreciate how Fraser was feeling after Boston's Game 4 win. During Bergeron's rookie season, he scored a game-winning goal at 1:26 of overtime to help the Bruins to a 2-1 win over the Canadiens on April 9, 2004, at TD Garden.
"It's definitely a great feeling and probably the biggest goal of his career, I'm sure," Bergeron said. "Definitely a great moment. He's got to enjoy it, and he had a great game. It was a big way for him to end this."
Last spring, Bruins defenseman Torey Krug provided similar heroics. He also was summoned from the P-Bruins during the playoffs and quickly proved he could play at this level when he scored the goal that forced overtime against the New York Rangers in a game the Bruins won 3-2.
Krug knows firsthand how Fraser was feeling after Thursday's game.