BOSTON — Montreal defenseman P.K. Subban stepped into one of the NHL’s fiercest rivalries and helped the Canadiens maintain their domination of the Bruins.
The 21-year-old rookie scored his first regular-season goal Thursday night, and Carey Price stopped 34 shots to lead Montreal to a 3-1 victory over Boston. It’s the Canadiens’ fourth straight victory in Boston, and their sixth win in seven tries against their longtime nemesis.
“It was great to get it against an Original Six team and a rival,” said Subban, who also had a goal in the playoffs last season.
A day after scoring five third-period goals to beat Pittsburgh, Boston fell apart in the third and saw its top-ranked penalty-killing unit fail twice — the first time this season the Bruins have allowed multiple power-play goals. Boston had allowed just two goals in its previous 30 power plays allowed.
“We ran out of legs, and progressively our game got worse and made every part of our game look bad,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “When you have a fresh team waiting for you at home, and a divisional game, it’s tough.”
Former Boston College star Brian Gionta scored a tiebreaking, power-play goal 29 seconds into the third, and Scott Gomez made it 3-1 10 minutes later. Price, who shut out Vancouver on Tuesday night, has allowed six goals in the last four games.
“Beating two top teams like Vancouver and Boston — especially Boston — is great,” said Price, who confessed to looking at the standings even though it’s less than one-fifth of the way through the season. “They were only two (points) behind us in the standings and had some games in hand, and we didn’t want to be tied with them.”
After opening the season by winning seven of their first nine games, the Bruins have lost three of their last four — the only win a 7-4 victory in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night. Tuukka Rask continued his hard-luck season, losing for the fifth time in five appearances despite making 38 saves.
“I don’t know if I’ve got to change something, or it’s just bad luck,” he said. “But definitely the bounces are not going my way.”
Subban scored 5:19 minutes into the first period. Zdeno Chara tied it for Boston with 4:11 left in the period on a powerful wrist shot after Patrice Bergeron made a nice play to keep the puck in the zone on the side boards.
Montreal appeared to go ahead late in the second, but replay showed Jeff Halpern redirected the puck into the net with his skate.
In the third, Gionta put took a crossing pass from Mike Cammalleri and, from his knees, swept it past Rask to make it 2-1.
Gomez, who was playing in his 800th NHL game, made it 3-1 on a power play midway through the third when he put a rebound of Andrei Kostitsyn’s shot off the crossbar and off Rask’s back before it trickled into the net.
NOTES: The Bruins assigned F Jamie Arniel to Providence of the AHL. … Montreal traded D Ryan O’Byrne to the Colorado Avalanche for F Michael Bournival. … Milan Lucic had an assist, giving him six points in seven games. … Subban has six assists on the season. He also had six assists in the playoffs last season. … Montreal is 8-0-1 when scoring the first goal.
Rangers 3, Sabres 2
NEW YORK — Artem Anisimov scored his second goal of the game 1:32 into overtime to lift the New York Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
Anisimov forced a turnover in the Buffalo zone, and eventually found a loose puck in the slot for a shot past Buffalo backup goalie Jhonas Enroth.
Ruslan Fedotenko had a goal and assist, and Martin Biron made 29 saves as a late replacement for Henrik Lundqvist, who was forced to sit out after becoming sick during the day. New York got top scorer Marian Gaborik back in the lineup after he missed 12 games due to a separated shoulder, but he wasn’t a factor on the score sheet.
Tyler Ennis and Mike Grier scored for Buffalo, which lost to New York for the second time this season.
The Sabres went to overtime for the third straight game after winning the previous two in shootouts. The Sabres pulled out a 5-4 win at New Jersey on Wednesday night with Enroth in net when Devils forward Ilya Kovalchuk lost the puck off his stick without getting off a shot on the final attempt.
Enroth made 25 saves in his fourth appearance in five games in place of reigning Vezina Trophy winner Ryan Miller, who is sidelined because of a lower body injury.
Ennis scored the first of Buffalo’s two tying goals of the second period with 4:27 left when he pushed a puck past Biron during a scramble in front. The Sabres were poised to go onto a power play, but Ennis’ fourth of the season and second in two nights wiped out the penalty and made it 1-1.
The Rangers went back in front in a late-period scoring spree when Anisimov netted his fourth.
Shortly after Sabres coach Lindy Ruff burned his timeout to give his players a breather after and icing call, Brandon Dubinsky worked the puck behind the Buffalo net and fed a backhanded pass in front. Anisimov was all alone in the slot and fired a shot that squeezed past Enroth with only 47.5 seconds left in the middle frame.
That was the fifth consecutive Rangers goal, over two games, that gave them a one-goal lead, but New York couldn’t protect any of the advantages. The Rangers squandered three one-goal leads on Tuesday in a 5-3 home loss to Washington.
Buffalo got even before the period ran out when Grier stuffed in his second of the season with just 2.9 seconds showing on the clock. Rob Niedermayer set up the goal with a pass in front.
New York had only four shots in the second period despite having a 5-on-3 power play that lasted 39 seconds. Rangers coach John Tortorella used his timeout after the second penalty was whistled to give his power-play unit a rest, but it wasn’t enough to produce a goal.
Note: Rangers D Matt Gilroy replaced injured D Michal Rozsival (shoulder strain) in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the previous five games and seven times in New York’s first 15 contests. LW Derek Boogaard was a healthy scratch two days after he scored for the first time in 235 games, the NHL’s longest current drought that lasted nearly five years. … Sabres captain D Craig Rivet missed his second straight game because of the flu. RW Drew Stafford sat out for a third game due to an undisclosed upper body injury. … The Rangers are 5-0-1 against the Northeast Division. … Ruff coached in his 1,000th NHL game — all with the Sabres — on Wednesday