The last time the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens met, it was the Bruins who came undone late en route to a disappointing loss.
The opposite was true Wednesday night, as the Bruins struggled through two scoreless periods but erupted for three goals in the third to earn a 3-1 win.
Boston had dropped its previous seven regular-season meetings with Montreal, with its last win coming back on March 12, 2014.
IT WAS OVER WHEN…
Brad Marchand fed a pass in front to a wide-open Patrice Bergeron, who deked around Canadiens goalie Mike Condon to score Boston’s third and final goal.
The goal capped a phenomenal two-way performance by Bergeron, who finished with a team-high five shots on goal while also handing out three hits and blocking two shots.
The only Boston player to have a better night than Bergeron was goalie Tuukka Rask, who stopped 32 of 33 shots to earn just his fourth win over the Canadiens in 22 tries.
SCORING IN BUNCHES
After going without a goal for the first 47 minutes, the Bruins scored twice in one 42-second span to seize their first lead of the night.
The first goal — a shorthanded tally — came courtesy of Loui Eriksson, who gathered the puck in the neutral zone and fended off Jeff Petry before beating Condon.
Zdeno Chara, who was credited with an assist, initiated the sequence when he used his stick to smack a P.K. Subban pass out of midair. The puck found its way to Eriksson’s stick, and the winger did the rest.
Landon Ferraro potted the eventual game-winner less than minute later, receiving a slick pass from Ryan Spooner in the slot and firing it past Condon.
Ferraro’s goal was his second in three games and his fifth point since joining the Bruins two weeks ago.
BYRON GETS A BOUNCE
Paul Byron scored Montreal’s lone goal — with a bit of help from Bruins defenseman Zach Trotman.
Byron flipped a puck from behind the Boston net that bounced off Trotman’s hip and past Rask. The goal initially was credited to Tomas Plekanec, but the scoring later was changed to give Byron the goal and Plekanec the assist.
That was all the scoring the teams could muster during the first period. Montreal outshot Boston 14-7 in the frame, and Condon stood tall for the home team with a handful of impressive saves. Condon turned in a strong two-and-a-half periods before faltering in the third, finishing with 20 saves in a losing effort.
KREJCI-LESS FOR A FEW
Boston was dealt a brief scare midway through the second period when David Krejci absorbed an awkward hit from Canadiens center Lars Eller.
“Guys have to step up,” head coach Claude Julien told NBC’s Pierre McGuire during an in-game interview. “Hopefully, David will be back — we?ll see. But we?re short as it is, and our guys have to just pick it up and pick up the slack here.?
Krejci exited to the locker room, reportedly favoring his left wrist, but missed just a few shifts before returning.
With injured forward Joonas Kemppainen (upper body) remaining back in Boston, Jimmy Hayes and Max Talbot returned to the lineup for the Bruins. Dennis Seidenberg also slid back into Boston’s second defensive pairing after sitting out the previous two games.
Julien shuffled his lines late in the game, with Matt Beleskey joining Marchand and Bergeron on the top line and Frank Vatrano joining Krejci and Eriksson on the second unit.
The Bruins now are off until Saturday, when the Florida Panthers come to town for an Atlantic Division tilt. Boston, which defeated Florida 3-1 in their first meeting back on Oct. 30, is 5-1-0 this season against divisional opponents not named the Canadiens.
Thumbnail photo via Jean-Yves Ahern/USA TODAY Sports Images