Final, Bruins 8-6: And an entertaining night at the Garden finally comes to a close with the Bruins prevailing 8-6 in a wild affair that won't soon be forgotten.
The Bruins beat the Habs for the first time this season and extend their lead in the Northeast Division to four points with a game in hand on Montreal.
Just about everyone contributed offensively in this one, and almost everyone got involved physically as well as a series of brawls had the Garden rocking all night.
The Bruins will loook to build on this one as they open a home-and-home series with Detroit by hosting the Red Wings on Friday.
Third Period, 19:46, Bruins 8-6: Pacioretty scores a power-play goal with 13.9 seconds left for the final tally of the night.
Third Period, 19:35, Bruins 8-5: McQuaid and Pacioretty try to go, but the linesmen jump in quickly.
Third Period, 19:19, Bruins 8-5: And more gloves are shed, with Andrew Ference and Travis Moen going at it late in a spirited exchange.
While that was being broken up, Roman Hamrlik poked the wrong Bruin with a shot at Shawn Thornton, who battled through the ref to pound on Hamrlik. Johnny Boychuk also beat down Jaroslav Spacek and Greg Campbell laid into Tom Pyatt in two more one-sided scraps.
Third Period, 17:06, Bruins 8-5: More fireworks at the Garden as Horton tries to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick as he goes after Subban. Gill and then Lucic jumped in and end up switching partners, but not much develops there.
But Krejci and Benoit Pouliot break away from the pack and square off, only to have Krejci dropped with a big shot by Pouliot, who bloodied the Bruins center.
Third Period, 14:54, Bruins 8-5: And Nathan Horton is on the board, firing home a shot from the right circle off the inside of the left post for a three-goal lead.
That adds a goal to an impressive four-assist night so far for Horton.
Third Period, 13:14, Bruins 7-5: The shots are now even at 31-31 as both goalies' impressive stats are taking a bit of a beating in this wild affair, but Thomas will gladly take the hit on his GAA and save percentage if he can hold on for the win.
Third Period, 10:01, Bruins 7-5: There's no denying Ryder this time, as he takes a feed from Seidenberg at the right post, settles it in the slot, cut rights and beats Price to the top right corner to extend the lead back to two goals.
Third Period, 9:18, Bruins 6-5: The Bruins score, but Michael Ryder's goal is waved off for goalie interference even though Marchand was checked into Price by Yannick Weber. No penalty on the play, but no goal either.
Third Period, 8:06, Bruins 6-5: The Bruins have a power-play chance now with Desharnais sent off for interference.
Third Period, 7:06, Bruins 6-5: The Habs pull within a goal as Pacioretty scores on the power play.
Chara stumbled coming back into the zone, allowing Wisniewski to drive deep into the zone and feed Pacioretty in front for the goal.
Third Period, 6:40, Bruins 6-4: The Bruins will be shorthanded again as Nathan Horton is sent off for tripping.
Third Period, 5:50, Bruins 6-4: The Bruins were really struggling to clear the puck on that shift, but Thomas ties it up for a faceoff and a much-needed line change.
Third Period, 3:38, Bruins 6-4: Pacioretty is back on the ice for the Habs after being shaken up late in the second period.
Third Period, 0:58, Bruins 6-4: The physical play continues, with Chara laying a big hit on Wisniewski.
Third Period, 0:00, Bruins 6-4: The final frame is under way, with the Bruins looking to close out their first win over the Habs this season.
Brick's Keys to the Third: Introducing a new feature to the live blog experience here, as I just spent a few minutes with NESN analyst Andy Brickley to get his thoughts on the game so far and his keys to the final 20 minutes. This will be a regular feature in the second intermission of all home games going forward, so hopefully you will enjoy the insight Brickley brings.
For this one, Brickley described the start as an "awesome first period." Brickley continued: "Montreal's game is speed and that puts pressure on the Bruins,which is why you saw them mix up their defense pairs to get some balance between speed and toughness on each pair to control that. The key is the breakouts, which were excellent in the first period, especially the last half.
"I didn't like the first [Montreal] goal. There was little resistance and no coverage on Gionta. That hurt Boston badly. I loved McQuaid's goal to answer right back and get the crowd back into it. I like what I'm seeing from the Krejci line. He has another gear if not two and you're seeing some of that tonight.
"In the third, the Bruins have to realize what's at stake here. They have a two-point lead in the division and have to play these guys two more times. This game should mean a whole lot to them and they've shown that it does in the first 40 minutes. They have to continue that in this period, keep up the emotional level but stay disciplined."
End Second Period, Bruins 6-4: The Bruins kill off the penalty and end the second period the same way it began, with a two-goal lead.
But it was quite an adventure in those 20 minutes, as each side scored four goals and engaged in a major line brawl highlighted by a goalie fight between Tim Thomas and Carey Price.
Montreal's Max Pacioretty went off hurt during that late power play.
Second Period, 17:52, Bruins 6-4: The Bruins will be shorthanded again, with Kampfer drawing the call this time for cross-checking.
Second Period, 14:49, Bruins 6-4: The Bruins get the crowd right back into it as Lucic one-times a pass from Krejci in from the left slot to make it a two-goal game again.
Second Period, 12:48, Bruins 5-4: That will put a damper on the festvities, as Montreal's David Desharnais scores on the power play to cut the lead to one goal again.
Second Period, 12:36, Bruins 5-3: Looks like the Canadiens will get a power play out of all that, with Shawn Thornton serving the extra minor. Both Thomas and Price are still in the game, so no ejections for either netminder. It's standing room only in both penalty boxes.
The jumbotron is panning back and forth between the two boxes, with loud cheers for the Bruins in their sin bin and boos for the Canadiens' in theirs. The crowd is into this one.
Second Period, 12:36, Bruins 5-3: And it's all broken loose at the Garden, with a major line brawl culminating with a goalie fight between Thomas and Price.
Not much of a first career fight for Thomas, who slipped early, but it still has the Garden rocking.
The brawl began with the Habs going after Marchand for a hit in the corner. Chara was throwing punches at Pacioretty, Kampfer was involved as well as all 10 skaters and both goalies were engaged in wrestling matches of various intensity.
Second Period, 12:31, Bruins 5-3: And Lucic gets into the action with a goal from the top of the crease as this wide-open period continues at a frenetic pace.
Second Period, 11:28, Bruins 4-3: And now the Bruins strike again with Michael Ryder finishing a nice deke at the right post around Price.
Second Period, 11:01, 3-3: The Habs answer themselves with a quick strike by Yannick Weber to tie it again.
Second Period, 9:48, Bruins 3-2: The Bruins answer right back as Adam McQuaid scores from the high slot off a nice feed from the crease by Horton.
Lucic also picked up an assist on McQuaid's first goal of the season.
Second Period, 8:30, 2-2: The Canadiens pull even with a power-play goal as Subban fires one in from the left point with Pacioretty and Ference battling in front of Thomas.
Early in the power play, Marchand got a little revenge on Subban for his hit earlier this season with a check in the Montreal zone, but Subban had the last laugh with the goal
Second Period, 7:32, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins will be shorthanded as Horton is called for hooking.
Second Period, 5:10, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins are really on their heels in this period, with some very shaky play in their own zone as Montreal continues to mount pressure.
Second Period, 2:00, Bruins 2-1: The sides are now back to even strength as it's back to 5-on-5 play.
Second Period, 0:25, Bruins 2-1: The Habs waste no time getting back in this one, scoring just 25 seconds in to cut the deficit to one goal.
James Wisniewski fired in a shot from the right circle, and Brian Gionta banged in the rebound at the left post.
Second Period, 0:00, Bruins 2-0: The middle frame is under way, with the sides playing 4-on-4 for the first 1:29 after the penalties at the end of the first. Montreal will have a brief 31-second power play after that.
First Intermission Notes: Not much to complain about with that first 20 minutes. The Bruins jumped out to the quick lead with a pair of goals 12 seconds apart, Tim Thomas made some big stops when needed and the whole club is playing with the emotional edge and physical style they need to slow down the speedy Habs.
Boston had an 18-8 edge in shots and a 17-10 advantage in hits, with Zdeno Chara leading the way in both categories with four shots and four hits. He's playing with a purpose in this one, as is Nathan Horton, who has an assist, two shots and a hit in a spirited first period for the slumping winger. Dennis Seidenberg and Steven Kampfer are both a plus-2 as they were each on the ice for both goals with Boston rotating its defense pairs.
Not a lot from the rookies so far. Jordan Caron had some energy in his shifts, but played just 2:45 with no shots. Zach Hamill also had no shots in 4:24, with one bad pass back to the point that cost the Bruins a chance to set up in the Montreal zone and nearly led to a Habs' scoring opportunity at the other end.
End First Period, Bruins 2-0: An entertaining opening period comes to a close with a major scrum in the Montreal crease as Lucic crashes the net at the buzzer, bring in Subban and Gill. Lucic gets the extra penalty with a roughing double minor, while Price gets two for roughing and Moen a 10-minute misconduct.
First Period, 19:31, Bruins 2-0: It's another power-play chance for Boston late in the first with Max Pacioretty called for interference.
First Period, 18:37, Bruins 2-0: Nathan Horton has come to play in this one. He had a lengthy battle in front with Subban, then threw a hit on Moen and broke in 2-on-1 with Lucic, only to be robbed in front by Price. Strong effort so far from Horton, who also had an assist on Seidenberg's goal.
First Period, 16:26, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins can't convert that power play, despite having Plekanec playing without a stick on the PK for one stretch. Bergeron also broke his second stick of the night on that power play.
First Period, 14:26, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins will now have a 4-on-3 power play as Scott Gomez is sent to the box for tripping.
First Period, 13:28, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins add another 12 seconds later as Dennis Seidenberg bangs in home in front after the puck popped up to him in the slot.
Lucic and Moen then got matching minors before the ensuing faceoff at center ice, so we'll play 4-on-4 for two minutes.
First Period, 13:16, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins strike first as Brad Marchand makes a nice finishing move in front off a feed from Patrice Bergeron, who took a drop pass from Mark Recchi.
The Bruins nearly scored second earlier when Jordan Caron clanged iron from the left side on a rebound of a Greg Campbell shot.
First Period, 11:40, 0-0: Zach Hamill misses the mark on a pass back to the point, sending the puck the length of the ice to the Boston end to negate a chance to set up in the Montreal zone.
First Period, 10:04, 0-0: Brad Marchand with a big hit on Roman Hamrlik in the right corner of the Montreal zone. Hamrlik went down awkwardly and was injured on the play, which was blown dead for the training staff to treat him on the ice.
First Period, 8:00, 0-0: Bruins putting some pressure on in the Montreal end, but the Habs are doing a good job getting in shooting lanes and preventing the shots from reaching Price.
First Period, 6:14, 0-0: Now Mathieu Darche with the post-whistle shove on Shawn Thornton, but he backs off quickly when Thornton wants a piece of him as the linesmen step in. Again, no penalties from that minor scrum.
First Period, 4:29, 0-0: P.K. Subban gives a little shove to Seidenberg after an offsides whistle, which brings Blake Wheeler of all people over. Boychuk also jumps in, while Travis Moen and Hal Gill come over to help Subban. Nothing develops out of the scrum and no penalties are called.
First Period, 2:20, 0-0: Tim Thomas makes his first huge stop of the night, robbing David Desharnais point blank in front of the net.
First Period, 2:00, 0-0: Adam McQuaid is playing with Dennis Seidenberg to start this one, while Andrew Ference is now paired with Johnny Boychuk, though McQuaid got caught out for an extended shift and stayed out with Ference.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: And this one is under way here at the Garden, with the Bruins looking for their first win of the season against their archrival after Montreal took each of the first three meetings this year.
7 p.m.: The Bruins will open with the Krejci line, with David Krejci between Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. Zdeno Chara and Steven Kampfer start on defense, with Tim THomas in goal.
Montreal counters with Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta up front, Hal Gill and P.K. Subban on the blue line and Carey Price in net.
6:55 p.m.: Scratches have been officially announced and are as expected.
Tyler Seguin, Mark Stuart and Daniel Paille (suspension) out for Boston. Alexandre Picard and Michael Cammalleri (shoulder) out for Montreal.
6:45 p.m.: Tyler Seguin and Mark Stuart, who will be the scratches for this one, did not skate in warm-ups. Stuart has skated pre-game in previous scratches.
The forward lines in warm-ups were the same as Tuesday's practice:
The defense pairs have been adjusted from the last few games though. Zdeno Chara is still with Steven Kampfer, but Dennis Seidenberg is now with Adam McQuaid, while Andrew Ference was with Johnny Boychuk in the warm-ups.
James Wisniewski skated in the warm-ups for Montreal. He appears to be a go after missing two games with the flu. The Canadiens didn't have any extra skaters out for the pre-game skate.
6:30 p.m.: As expected, Tim Thomas and Carey Price led the teams out for warm-ups.
That will be the goaltending matchup in this one.
6 p.m.: It's been a busy day at the Garden, where the Bruins and Canadiens are getting ready to take the ice in about an hour.
The big news out of the morning skate is that Tyler Seguin will be a healthy scratch for this one. That shouldn't come as a surprise with his struggles of late and dwindling ice time, but it's sure to raise some eyebrows across Bruins Nation as the No. 2 overall pick deals with another part of the learning process in the adjustment to the pro game.
As for the players actually playing in this one, Tim Thomas was the first goalie off the ice at the morning skate for the Bruins, while Montreal coach Jacques Martin confirmed that Carey Price would start for the Habs. That should be the goalie matchup in this one.
Patrice Bergeron will also play after a scare in practice Tuesday that required a trip to the hospital for stitches after taking a puck to the chin. The Bruins will need him, as he has points in all three games against Montreal so far this season and has more goals and points against the Canadiens than any other teams with 11-16-27 totals in 35 career games.
Montreal alsoexpects to get defenseman James Wisniewski back after missing two games with the flu. The Habs need all the help they can get on the blue line with Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges both out for the year with knee injuries.
8 a.m.: After six straight games against teams from the Western Conference and Southeast Division, the Bruins finally return to divisional play. And they'll do it by taking on their most ancient rival, with Montreal coming to town on Wednesday.
It's the third of a four-game homestand for the Bruins, who have split the first two with a fight-filled 6-3 win over Dallas on Thursday and a 2-0 setback at the hands of the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
Those games pale in comparison to the stakes in this one though, as the Habs come in just two points behind the Bruins in the battle for the top spot in the Northeast Division. The Bruins do have a game in hand, but they are even in wins with the Bruins at 30-16-7 and Montreal checking in at 30-19-5.
Montreal has won each of the first three meetings this season, scoring two goals in the third for a 3-1 win at the Garden on Nov. 11, striking early and holding on for a 4-3 win in Montreal on Dec. 16 and shocking the Bruins with a 3-2 overtime win at the Bell Centre on Jan. 8. Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta each scored in the final 2:22 of regulation that night, then New Canaan, Conn., native Max Pacioretty won it in overtime.
There was some good that came out of that game, as it marked the first time the line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi was put together. Bergeron scored both Bruins' goals that night and the trio has combined for 22-24-46 totals in 14 games together. The Bruins are also 9-4-0 since that loss, rebounding the next game with a dramatic rally of their own as they scored four goals in the final 3:32 to beat Pittsburgh 4-2 and kick off their current run.
Montreal is also on quite a roll, going 10-3-3 since Dec. 31, but the Habs are just 12-12-1 on the road this season.
The puck drops for this one at 7 p.m., so check back here throughout the day for updates on all the action.