Patrice Bergeron scored in his second straight contest to highlight his team’s three-goal second period and Tuukka Rask made 34 saves as the visiting Boston Bruins skated to their season-high sixth consecutive victory, a 4-1 win over the rival Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.
Milan Lucic reached the 20-goal plateau for the third time in his career and Carl Soderberg also tallied in the pivotal session for the Bruins, who moved to within one point of idle Pittsburgh for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Captain Zdeno Chara scored 23 seconds into the third period and Brad Marchand notched a pair of assists in the victory.
David Desharnais tallied early in the third period, but Montreal failed to muster anything else and has been outscored by a 13-3 margin during its three-game losing skid.
Canadiens defenseman Jarred Tinordi misplayed the puck along his own goal line, allowing Soderberg to flip a shot over the blocker of Peter Budaj (26 saves) to open the scoring 1:33 into the second period. Bergeron converted a 3-on-1 rush eight minutes later before Lucic unleashed a one-timer from the left circle to give Boston a 3-0 lead with 1:28 left in the session.
Entering the contest with a 2-10-2 career mark versus Montreal, Rask avenged being lifted in a 4-1 loss to Montreal on Jan. 30 with a scintillating performance. The Finnish Olympian yielded only Desharnais’ goal in a scrum at the right post early in the third period before closing the door.
Notes: Soderberg has collected two goals and three assists on his four-game point streak. ... Lucic scored 30 goals in the 2010-11 season and netted 26 in the following campaign. ... Montreal failed on all three power-play opportunities and dropped to 1-for-21 in its last six games. ... Canadiens right wing Brandon Prust returned from a seven-game absence due to an upper-body injury and engaged in a fight with Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller in the second period.