March 12, 2014

B's finally nab win over Habs

By Jesse Connolly

Brad Marchand congratulates Patrice Bergeron on his second-period goal. (Getty Images)

Final: Boston 4, Montreal 1

Recap: After a first period in which the B's were dominated and outshot 14-6, the Black and Gold began to turn the tables in the second period.

Carl Soderberg was the recipient of a bad turnover near Montreal's crease at the 1:33 mark of the frame. His 12th goal of the season, which was unassisted, gave Boston a 1-0 lead. Patrice Bergeron made it 2-0 midway through the period when he wristed home a feed from Brad Marchand in the slot. With 1:28 to go in the period, Milan Lucic's 20th of the season made it a three-goal game.

Boston pushed their edge to four 23 seconds into the third, as Zdeno Chara got his own rebound and tucked it past an out-of-position Peter Budaj. A David Desharnais goal two minutes later made it 4-1, as he banged home a loose puck during a crazy scramble in front, but that was all the offense Montreal could muster.

Records: Boston (43-17-5, 91 points); Montreal (35-25-7, 77 points)

Key Play of the Game: In the first period, Max Pacioretty (New Canaan, Conn.) came in alone on a breakaway. Tuukka Rask's timely stop summed up the first 20 minutes of action, as Boston was able to weather the storm and keep the hosts from taking an early lead.

Connolly's Commendations: We'll continue with the applause for Rask, who came into this one with a 2-10-2 lifetime record against the Canadiens. He was huge early and steady throughout, finishing with 35 saves on 36 shots.

It was another impressive showing for the new top pairing of Chara and countryman Andrej Meszaros. Each defenseman finished plus-2 and had two blocked shots.

Bergeron and Brad Marchand each had multipoint nights. The two have combined to rack up eight points in the last two games.

Connolly's Critiques: It doesn't happen often, but the Black and Gold were dominated at the dot. Montreal won 40-of-65 (62%) faceoffs. Chris Kelly was 1-for-8 and Greg Campbell was 3-for-9.

Notes: With the victory, the Bruins extended their winning streak to six games. ... Habs newcomer Thomas Vanek had an assist and was plus-1. ... Budaj allowed four goals on 32 shots. ... The Bruins were 0-4-1 in their last five games against the Canadiens.

Final Thoughts: It's not often a team in first place in their division needs a boost confidence, but given Boston's -- and Rask's --  aforementioned struggles against the Habs, they needed this one. One has to think they'd be sweating a potential playoff showdown with Montreal if they headed into their final two regular-season clashes without a victory against them in six straight meetings.

Next: The Bruins will return home to host the Coyotes at TD Garden Thursday.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ