Canadiens end Bruins’ win streak
BOSTON — The Montreal Canadiens ended the 12-game winning streak of the rival Boston Bruins with a hard-hitting 2-1 shootout victory Monday night.
Backup goaltender Peter Budaj, starting because of past performances against the Bruins, stopped 28 shots in the game and then all four shootout attempts and center Alex Galchenyuk scored the only shootout goal in the fourth round as the Canadiens won for the fourth time in the last five games.
Galchenyuk beat Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask with the winner. Rask dropped to 0-5-3 lifetime against the Canadiens at home.
The Canadiens, playing two men short because of first-period injuries, won the season series 3-1, and beat the Bruins in five of the last six games.
Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin scored a first-period power-play goal to open the scoring. The goal was third goal of the season. The Canadiens made it stand up until Bruins center Patrice Bergeron deflected defenseman Dougie Hamilton’s shot past Budaj to tie it at 1 with 5:26 left in regulation.
The goal, Bergeron’s 23rd of the season, came with three seconds left on the Bruins’ sixth power play of the night. It marked the fourth straight game Bergeron scored his team’s first goal of the game.
Budaj came in 4-2 with a 2.63 goals-against-average lifetime against the Bruins.
Rask made 21 saves in the game, but saw his seven-game winning streak snapped.
The Bruins were hoping to tie the second-longest winning streak in franchise history, which would have moved them to within a game of tying the all-time best of 14.
Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller knocked Montreal forwards Dale Wiese and Travis Moen out on the same play just 4:50 into the game. He cross-checked Wiese into the boards and when Moen stepped in, the pair went at it. Miller got the best of Moen in the tussle thanks to a hard right hand that connected.
Both Wiese and a clearly dazed Moen went to the locker room and did not return.
The Canadiens broke through on the power play at 6:39 of the first when Emelin fired from the point. The shot hit the stick of Bruins left winger Chris Kelly and deflected high into the net past Rask.
The Bruins killed a 44-second 5-on-3 in the second period, when both goalies made key saves to keep the game at 1-0.
Notes: Bruins right wing Jarome Iginla was named as the NHL’s third star of the week as he continued his torrid March with five goals last week. ... The Bruins host Chicago on Thursday night, the Blackhawks’ first visit since winning the Stanley Cup at TD Garden in the stunning Game 6 win in the finals. The Canadiens host the Buffalo Sabres tonight. ... Montreal center Lars Eller was a late scratch with a lower-body injury suffered Saturday night. ... Reports were circulating that Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who was supposed to be out for the year after late December knee surgery, could make it back if his team went deep into the playoffs. ... Bruins great Raymond Bourque dropped the first puck as the Bruins continued their 90th-year celebration. ... Montreal coach Michel Therrien on the Bruins’ winning streak: “There’s a big difference between winning 12 games in a row in November and doing it in March while teams are battling for playoff spots. That’s what impresses me the most about their streak.