BOSTON — With trade winds blowing and Boston Bruins fans dreaming of the potential arrival of 525-goal scorer Jarome Iginla, there was a game to play Wednesday night, and the Montreal Canadiens rallied to spoil the excitement.
Brendan Gallagher scored a goal in a third-period rally, then scored only goal of a six-round shootout to give the Canadiens a 6-5 victory over their top rivals.
It was the second time in as many tries this season that the Canadiens rallied in the third period in Boston. The victory gave Montreal (21-7-5) sole possession of first place in the Northeast Division, a point ahead of the Bruins (21-7-4).
Patrice Bergeron had a goal and three assists, and Tyler Seguin a goal and two helpers as the Bruins erased a 2-0 deficit with four goals in the second period to take the lead. However, the Canadiens scored three times in the third period. Defenseman Andrei Markov tied it with 8.2 seconds left on a 6-on-4 advantage created by a delay-of-game penalty on Boston’s Aaron Johnson, plus Montreal pulling the goalie.
That goal was originally credited to Gallagher but was changed after the game to Markov’s sixth of the season.
Montreal goalie Peter Budaj, who replaced Carey Price after the second period and was strong the rest of the way, stopped all six shootout attempts by the Bruins. Boston goalie Tuukka Rask was perfect until Gallagher beat him between the pads. He made 23 saves through regulation and overtime.
With the Bruins hoping to land Iginla to help their offense, Boston scored five goals for only the second time this year, but it wasn’t enough. They gave up five (not counting the shootout) for only the second time this season.
Dougie Hamilton (No. 4), Brad Marchand (No. 14), Bergeron (No. 10) and Nathan Horton (No. 9) scored in the second period to chase Price. Budaj was beaten only on a Seguin goal with 8:10 left in the third.
Gallagher beat Rask just 28 seconds later, and Markov added the late equalizer.
It was after the last game that the Bruins accused the Canadiens of diving to get calls, a claim Montreal’s Max Pacioretty answered with claims the Bruins were “jealous” of the Habs being in first place at the time.
Former Bruin Michael Ryder scored two goals (Nos. 11 and 12), one in the first period and one in the third. Montral’s P.K. Subban, the defenseman TD Garden fans love to hate, made it 2-0 at 2:53 of the second.
Ryder was stopped by his former teammate 30 seconds into the game but was left all alone in front for the fourth goal of his second tour with the Canadiens, all in the past seven games.
The Bruins bounced back 39 seconds later when Seguin hit the post, Bergeron got the rebound and fed Hamilton in the slot.
Bergeron then set up Marchand, who converted his own rebounds at 7:23 to tie the game at 2.
Young Boston defenseman Torey Krug, recalled earlier in the day from Providence, was playing his second shift (this one with Zdeno Chara) when Ryder scored. He was also on the ice for the Subban goal. Krug also saw time on the power play and penalty kill in the first period.
NOTES: Iginla trade talk was buzzing, and late word surfaced that Boston prospect Alexei Khokhlachev was a late scratch for Providence, after young defenseman Matt Bartkowski (who signed a contract extension through next season on Tuesday) was a healthy scratch in Boston. Iginla was a scratch in Calgary, missing his first game since April 2007. Earlier in the day, Boston general manager Peter Chiraelli said on his weekly appearance on the team’s flagship radio station that he won’t be dealing 19-year-old goalie Malcolm Subban. “He’s young. He’s a very good goalie prospect, and I see him in our future and being a big part of our future,” Chiarelli said. … The Bruins claimed forward Kaspars Daugavins off waivers from Ottawa. Daugavins, whose only goal this season was against the Bruins and can be remembered for his trick shot shootout attempt that was stopped by Rask, was having his work visa taken care of. Krug’s arrival coincided with Johnny Boychuk (foot) being placed on injured reserve. … The Canadiens host the New York Rangers on Saturday, while the Bruins, who have their last two-day rest of the regular season Thursday and Friday, visit Philadelphia and Buffalo over the weekend. … Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin played in his 100th NHL game. … The Canadiens and Bruins complete their season series April 6 at Montreal.