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Canadiens rally to tip Bruins
Montreal ended Boston's six-game winning streak and reclaimed the lead in the Eastern Conference standings in a tight game befitting the longtime rivals. The scoring went back-and-forth, the hits were hard and frequent and there were two fights worthy of the generations of dislike between the two clubs.
The Bruins won the fights, but the Canadiens took the two points after trailing 3-2 entering the third period. Pacioretty scored his eighth goal of the season, tying the game at 3-all 5:31 into the third, then set up Desharnais with a pass for a quick wrist shot that beat Boston goalie Tuukka Rask.
Desharnais also beat Rask with a slap shot for an unassisted goal midway through the first period to put Montreal up 2-1.
Peter Budaj finished with 31 saves and Brendan Gallagher added two assists for the Canadiens.
Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin and Dougie Hamilton scored for the Bruins and Brad Marchand added three assists for Boston, which was called for nine of the game's 14 penalties and allowed a goal by Tomas Plekanec on Montreal's first power play.
Plekanec's goal with 10:03 left in the first period put the Canadiens up 1-0 and started a brief flurry of scoring. Seguin tied it for Boston 50 seconds later, then Desharnais put Montreal back on top 2-1 with 8:57 still to go.
The second period was more physical and featured two extended fights. Milan Lucic and Brandon Prust broke away from a pack of squared off players after a whistle and started swinging near center ice. Prust wrestled Lucic's jersey over his eyes and the linesmen stepped in as Lucic landed one more heavy shot.
It got chippy once again later in the period when Seguin crashed to the ice after taking a cross check to the hip from Alexei Emelin. Although he wasn't penalized for the hit, he paid for it when Boston captain Zdeno Chara quickly ran down Emelin for a crushing hit that was quite clearly in retaliation for the shot on Seguin.
Chara wasn't finished. He started slugging the moment Emelin returned to his feet and didn't stop until the officials dragged him away. Chara was called for instigating, fighting, and received a 10-minute misconduct.
NOTES: Boston's power-play struggles resurfaced late in the opening period when the Bruins failed to get off a shot after Brendan Gallagher was called for charging with 1:10 remaining. The booing started before the horn even sounded and continued as the Bruins made their way off the ice down 2-1.