There was a different feel to this one from the usual Montreal-Boston clashes, as there was not much emotion on display until P.K. Subban elbowed David Krejci in the third period.
By that point, Michael Cammalleri was no longer a Canadien. He did not play in the third as he was traded to Calgary in a deal that brings Rene Bourque to Montreal. The mid-game trade was just one of many strange things about this one, which began with Jordan Caron's gift goal into an empty net when a dump-in bounced out front with Carey Price behind the net expecting to play teh wraparound.
However it happened, the Bruins have to be happy to win 3 of 4 on their homestand, including the first two games of Brad Marchand's suspension, and will now head out on the road for a game Saturday at Carolina.
Third Period, 18:48, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins get another power play in the closing minutes as Tomas Plekanec is sent off for holding the stick.
Third Period, 17:56, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins nearly get an insurance tally. Ference sends in a shot from the blue line and Krejci is robbed on the rebound at the right post. Price keeping the Habs' hopes alive with that one.
Third Period, 16:47, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins can't convert on that power play again, but did take two more minutes off the clock as time winds down here at the Garden.
Third Period, 14:47, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins now get another power-play opportunity as Petteri Nokelainen goes to the box for holding the stick.
Third Period, 12:46, Bruins 2-1: The Habs convert the power play as Yannick Weber scores from the right point.
Erik Cole provided the screen in front, while old friend Tomas Kaberle sent the pass over to Weber for the primary assist.
Third Period, 12:17, Bruins 2-0: Things get nasty as Subban catches Krejci up high with a hit in front of the benches. That brings Andrew Ference in with the gloves off immediately. Everyone piles in and no real fights develop as Subban quickly covers up. Subban gets two for elbowing and Ference four minutes for roughing to give Montreal a power play.
Third Period, 10:09, Bruins 2-0: Thomas with his first big save in a while as the Habs crash the crease and Andrei Kostitsyn gets a chance in close, but Thomas makes the stop and gets the whistle for a faceoff.
Third Period, 8:32, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins can't convert on the power play, but the opportunity does provide an interesting exchange between P.K. Subban and Milan Lucic. Subban gave Lucic a few extra shoves on two meetings along the boards, and Lucic finally throws him to the ice. No penalties called as the refs let them play on.
Third Period, 6:32, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins have a chance to extend the lead further as Chris Kelly draws a holding penalty on Raphael Diaz and Boston goes back on the power play.
Third Period, 3:43, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins add a huge insurance goal as Milan Lucic flips in a backhander in front.
Nathan Horton got the puck to him from the left side of the net and Lucic had all night to settle the puck and finally flip it home.
Third Period, 1:01, Bruins 1-0: Alexei Emelin shoves Nathan Horton in front of the net after the whistle. That brings Milan Lucic over and Emelin quickly backs down and nothing further develops.
Third Period, 0:00, Bruins 1-0: The final frame is under way here at the Garden. the Bruins are 20-0-0 when leading after two periods this season, while Montreal is 1-14-3 when trailing after two periods.
Second Intermission Notes: That was a rather uneventful frame, which is OK by the Bruins, who maintained their 1-0 lead and head to the third up a goal. The third period has been good to the Bruins, who have outscored opponents 60-23 in that frame. Montreal has been outscored 39-33 in the third, so that sets up well for Boston.
Tim Thomas continues to play well and now has 22 saves on the night. The Bruins actually outshot Montreal 8-6 in the second, but couldn't get anything more past Carey Price.
Boston did close the gap in the faceoff circle, where Montreal now leads just 14-12. Patrice Bergeron is still struggling at 2-6, but David Krejci and Gregory Campbell have picked up the slack at 4-1 each. Quiet second frame for Jordan Caron, who remains at one shot and one hit in 7:55, but his goals does remain the difference in this one.
End Second Period, Bruins 1-0: The middle frame ends without any further scoring, and the Bruins will head into the third period with a 1-0 lead.
Second Period, 18:08, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins created some chances with lots of possession time in the Montreal zone, but they are unable to cash in on that power play.
Second Period, 16:08, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins will get another power-play chance as Travis Moen is sent to the box for goalie interference.
Second Period, 14:50, Bruins 1-0: Adam McQuaid, who limped off in pain after taking a shot off the foot earlier, is back out for his next shift on defense for the Bruins.
Second Period, 11:26, Bruins 1-0: Plenty of back and forth action, but not a lot of chances of late for either team as the sloppy play continues in the second.
Second Period, 7:34, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins with a chance to pad their lead as Tyler Seguin breaks into the zone on a 2 on 1 with Patrice Bergeron. Seguin gets the pass to Bergeron at the right post, but his shot goes wide.
Second Period, 5:15, Bruins 1-0: Adam McQuaid with a nice shift, delivering a big hit in front of the benches, then breaking up a 2 on 1 in front.
Second Period, 1:08, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins do kill off the rest of that penalty and the sides are back at even strength.
Second Period, 0:00, Bruins 1-0: The middle frame is under way here at the Garden, where the Bruins will open the period looking to kill off the final 1:08 of Benoit Pouliot's boarding penalty.
First Intermission Notes: The Bruins took advantage of a lucky bounce early, then both teams struggled to control the bounces of the puck through most of that opening frame.
There was plenty of sloppy play on both sides, and the Bruins were fortunate to come away with the 1-0 lead. Tim Thomas had a lot to do with that, as he stopped all 16 shots he faced including a couple of testing bids by Mike Blunden in alone and Andrei Kostitsyn off a turnover in front.
Boston was also uncharacteristically poor on faceoffs in that period, going just 7-12 (37 percent). Patrice Bergeron is usually the most reliable Bruin on the draw, but he went 0-5.
Caron got a gift-wrapped goal on his first shift, which no doubt helped ease him back into action as he returned to the lineup. He finished with one shot and one hit in seven shifts totaling 4:13.
Shawn Thornton has been in the middle of things again. He leads all players with four hits in 4:09 and had words with Lars Eller in front of the benches. Eller isn't likely to take him on, but Thornton may try to find a more willing partner if the Bruins continue to struggle to get going in this one.
End First Period, Bruins 1-0: The opening frame comes to a close with the Bruins maintaining their 1-0 lead thanks to a flukey goal early by Jordan Caron.
First Period, 19:07, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins even that up as Benoit Pouliot is called for boarding on an hit on Raphael Diaz behind the net. It will be 4 on 4 for 34 seconds before the Canadiens go on the power play.
First Period, 17:41, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins get the first power play of the night as Lars Eller is sent to the box for holding.
First Period, 17:30, Bruins 1-0: Dennis Seidenberg with a giveaway in front as Andrei Kostitsyn steals a pass in the slot, but Thomas comes up with a huge stop to keep it a 1-0 game.
First Period, 15:28, Bruins 1-0: It's been a very sloppy game so far with both teams turning the puck over frequently and struggling to connect on passes.
First Period, 12:17, Bruins 1-0: The Habs threaten as Mike Blunden gets behind the defense to collect a pass and is in alone on Thomas, but the Bruins netminder turns aside the point-blank bid from the top of the crease.
First Period, 8:40, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins threaten again but can't find the handle on a loose puck in the slot. Play is blown dead after the net is dislodged.
First Period, 7:24, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins have forced multiple turnovers in deep on the Habs to create some chances, but have yet to extend the lead since Caron's early strike.
First Period, 1:23, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins jump out to the early lead thanks to a fortuitous bounce off the boards.
Johnny Boychuk sends in a dump-in that hits the glass and bounces to the front of the net. With Carey Price behind the net playing where he expected the puck to go, Jordan Caron was able to tap it into the open net.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: And we're under way here at the Garden as the Canadiens visit for the final time this season barring another playoff clash between the ancient rivals.
7 p.m.: The Bruins will open with the fourth line of Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton to try to set an early tone. Andrew Ference and Adam McQuaid start on defense, with Tim Thomas in goal.
The Canadiens counter with Matheiu Darche, Petteri Nokelainen and Mike Blunden up front, Josh Gorges and P.K. Subban on the blue line an Carey Price in net.
6:58 p.m.: The Bruins have scratched Zach Hamill, along with Brad Marchand (suspension) and Steven Kampfer. Jordan Caron is in the lineup.
Chris Campoli is out for Montreal, but the habs will still have seven defensemen dressed with their shortage of healthy forwards.
6:45 p.m.: The full line combinations for the Bruins from the warm-ups:
6:40 p.m.: Jordan Caron is skating on the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley in the line rushes in warm-ups. Zach Hamill is on the ice, but not in the line drills. Looks like Caron could be back in the lineup for this one in place of Hamill.
6:30 p.m.: Tim Thomas and Carey Price led the teams out for warm-ups.
That will be the goaltending matchup for this one.
6 p.m.: Barring a playoff meeting that seems unlikely with Montreal's current place in the standings, the Bruins will face the Canadiens in the Garden for the final time this season in about an hour.
The Habs will be without both Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez. Gionta underwent biceps surgery Wednesday and is out indefinitely. Gomez is close to returning from a lower-body injury and skating Thursday morning, but was ruled out for this game.
Tim Thomas and Carey Price are expected to get the starts in goal.
8 a.m. ET: As if a week featuring a rematch with the Canucks wasn't enough to get Boston fans' blood boiling, the Bruins will close out their four-game homestand on Thursday with a clash against the hated Habs.
Montreal makes its final visit to the Garden this season, and comes in limping from a 3-0 loss to St. Louis on Tuesday. The Canadiens beat Winnipeg and Tampa Bay in their two previous games, but are just 3-7-0 overall since Randy Cunneyworth took over as interim coach. Cunneyworth was a controversial selection to succeed Jacques Martin as Cunneyworth does not speak French, a deficiency that's drawn criticism and fan protests in Montreal.
Things might not get any better any time soon, as the Habs just lost forward Brian Gionta to biceps surgery on Wednesday. He joins Andrei Markov (knee), Scott Gomez (groin) and Ryan White (groin) on the injured list.
The Bruins are shorthanded as well, with Brad Marchand serving the second game of his five-game suspension for a low hit on Vancouver's Sami Salo. Boston won its first game without Marchand, rallying in the third period for a 5-3 win over Winnipeg on Tuesday. The Bruins lead the Northeast Division and are second in the East at 27-11-1 (55 points).
Montreal is last in the Northeast and 12th in the conference at 16-19-7 (39 points), but did beat Boston twice this season. That came in a home-and-home series at the end of October, but the Bruins are 24-4-1 since then, including a pair of wins over the Canadiens to even the season series.
The puck drops at 7 p.m., so check back here for updates on all the action from the Garden.