WINNIPEG – P.K. Subban silenced the Manitoba Moose fans who booed him every tie he touched the puck.
The Hamilton defenceman scored his second goal at 6:05 of double overtime to give the Bulldogs the 5-4 victory over Manitoba, and 3-1 lead in the North Division best-of-seven semifinal.
Game 5 goes Friday in Winnipeg.
Subban, who also scored one of six goals in a wild second period, appeared to be targeted by many of the 7,501 fans at the MTS Centre after he sent Moose forward Dusty Collins into Manitoba?s bench early in the first period and got an interference penalty.
“To be honest with you, I?m not going to try to figure out why they booed me,” Subban said.
“I’m just so focused on the game . . . when I?m out there I don’t hear anything.”
Subban credited teammate David Desharnais with setting up the game-winning goal that hit Moose sticks before eluding Manitoba netminder Cory Schneider.
“There?s a reason why he?s been our MVP the whole year,” Subban said.
“He’s been a great player for us and he found me coming in off the point there. To be honest with you, I didn?t look. I just shot the puck. I think it hit something in front and luckily it went in.”
The Bulldogs were heavily favoured going into the series, having won the division and Western Conference titles with 115 points, 28 more points than the fourth-place Moose.
Hamilton claimed the series’ first two games with scores of 2-0 and 8-2, while Manitoba won the third 7-2.
Bulldogs head coach Guy Boucher is giving his players Thursday off and won’t be stressing the opportunity to eliminate the Moose and move on to play the winner of the division semifinal between Rochester and Abbotsford, which Rochester leads 3-1.
“Right now for us, we didn?t win anything,” Boucher said. “We’re playing a team that?s playing great, were really well coached.
“These guys were flying and they deserve, surely, what?s happening to them. Not in terms of losses, but I think in terms of either close games or the games that they’ve won they’ve certainly deserved it and it?s going to be a real tight one again on Friday.”
Bulldogs winger Mike Glumac tied the game 4-4 at 12:19 of the third period with his second goal of the night?and fourth of the playoffs?when he got his stick on a rebound behind Schneider.
Manitoba had three great chances in the first overtime, but Bulldogs goalie Cedrick Desjardins made two outstanding saves and the third shot hit the post.
The Moose had a power-play opportunity early in the second overtime when Bulldog Ryan White was called for tripping Mike Keane in the neutral zone, but couldn?t capitalize.
The game ended with Hamilton outshooting Manitoba 45-42.
Moose head coach Scott Arniel thought his players let up after mounting a 4-2 lead in the second period.
?I thought we got very loose . . .?Arniel said.?We started to do some things that we didn?t do for the first 30 minutes of the game.?
The bad tempers at the end of Monday?s 7-2 Manitoba victory carried over into Wednesday?s match.
Both teams from the outset didn?t miss an opportunity to throw a hit, with Subban becoming the target of booing Moose fans whenever he touched the puck.
Hamilton opened the scoring when Glumac tipped in forward Grant Stevenson?s wrist shot during a power play that beat Schneider at 12:37 of the first period.
The action heated up in the second, with six goals scored in the first 10:48 of the period.
Manitoba defenceman Evan Oberg got things going when he went down the side of the ice alone, curled around the back of the net and flipped the puck past Desjardins at 1:20.
Moose centre Mario Bliznak made it 2-1 at 6:31 on the power play and then Hamilton centre Brock Trotter tied the game with his third goal of the playoffs 15 seconds later.
Manitoba responded with back-to-back goals by Dusty Collins and Kevin Clark to make it 4-2 at 8:41, but Subban narrowed the gap 4-3 just over two minutes later.
Notes?Manitoba was without forward Aaron Volpatti, who got an automatic one-game suspension for an instigating penalty in the final five minutes of Monday?s game.