BOSTON — The Montreal Canadiens, making their first visit of the season to Boston, took an early lead and ended the rival Bruins’ four-game winning streak with a 4-1 victory on Thursday night.
Winning their fifth straight against the Bruins, the Canadiens (29-20-5) chased Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask in the second period and won their second straight after a four-game losing streak.
Rask, who gave up three goals on 18 shots and was clearly angry when he left in favor of Chad Johnson, fell to 2-10-2 lifetime against Montreal.
Center Daniel Briere had a goal, his eighth of the year, and an assist. Right winger Brendan Gallagher had two assists and defenseman Alexei Emelin (his first), left winger Max Pacioretty (No. 23) and right winger Brian Gionta (his ninth) also scored for Montreal in front of goaltender Peter Budaj.
The backup goalie made 34 saves and improved to 4-1 lifetime against Boston.
The first-place Bruins, losing for only the third time in their last 15 home games, are 34-16-3 and eight points ahead of the Canadiens in the Atlantic Division.
Defenseman Dougie Hamilton scored his fifth goal of the season for the Bruins, who heard boos from the home crowd as the game ended.
Rask is 88-48-7 against the rest of the league besides Montreal. Budaj is 119-102-34 against the rest of the league besides Boston.
Rask was lifted after Gionta deflected his power-play goal past him with 8:06 left in the second period. The replaced goalie stormed down the runway that leads to the locker room, returned a few minutes later and, seeing the door to the bench open during a stoppage, slammed it.
Johnson gave up a breakaway goal to Briere on the first shot he saw, which made it 4-1, but he held the Habs scoreless the rest of the way.
The Canadiens had the energy advantage throughout and took a 1-0 lead when Emelin’s shot found its way through 2:16 into the game. After both teams hit a post, center David Desharnais came back and picked off winger Daniel Paille’s pass, starting the Canadiens out — and Pacioretty beat defenseman Johnny Boychuk and then Rask at 14:32.
Hard work by right winger Loui Ericksson set Hamilton up at the right point. Hamilton’s shot went in off the skate of Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov and past Budaj just 1:06 after the Pacioretty goal. Center David Krejci originally got credit for the goal but it was later changed to Hamilton.
Left winger Brad Marchand put the Bruins a man down 8:17 into the second period and Gionta scored to KO Rask. Briere then took a short breakout pass from Gallagher and went in alone to beat Johnson with 6:14 left in the period.
NOTES: Bruins G Tuukka Rask was pulled from a game for the fourth time this season but the first at home. … Jan. 30 is the latest date ever for the Canadiens’ first visit of a season to Boston. … The Canadiens recalled RW Christian Thomas from Hamilton in case RW Brandon Prust could not play because of a shoulder injury. Prust played and Thomas did not dress. … The Bruins continue their four-game homestand against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday and the Canadiens open a four-game home stay against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. … Bruins D Adam McQuaid remained out with a leg injury. It was the fifth straight game that he missed. He has been out for 14 of the last 26 games, but it is not known whether the absences are connected. … The Bruins, in their 90th year, continued to honor their nine decades by recognizing the 1920s, when Boston became the first U.S. franchise. Former club president Weston Adams Jr. dropped the first puck before Thursday night’s game.
Maple Leafs 6, Panthers 3
TORONTO — The Toronto Maple Leafs struck for two goals in the first minute of the second period and went on to defeat the Florida Panthers 6-3 on Thursday for their second win in a row.
Left winger James van Riemsdyk put the Maple Leafs ahead with his career-best 22nd goal of the season 58 seconds into the second period. That came 31 seconds after left winger Mason Raymond had tied it at 2-2.
The Maple Leafs also scored twice early in the third period to open up a three-goal lead. Left winger Nikolai Kulemin scored his eighth goal of the season at 4:00 of the third, and left winger Joffrey Lupul (No. 16) scored on a power play at 6:22.
Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov scored his sixth goal of the season at 14:29 of the third.
Toronto center Tyler Bozak completed the scoring with his 10th goal of the season at 18:37 of the third.
Defenseman Cody Franson also scored for Toronto (29-21-6). Center Nazem Kadri added three assists for the Maple Leafs to give him 101 career points.
Center Nick Bjugstad and left winger Sean Bergenheim also scored for the Panthers (21-26-7), who have lost two in a row.
Goaltender Jonathan Bernier made 35 stops for the Maple Leafs.
Scott Clemmensen made 26 saves in the Panthers’ goal.
The Maple Leafs quickly erased a 2-1 disadvantage with their first-minute pair of goals to open the second period.
Raymond tied it with his 14th goal of the season on a 49-foot wrist shot 27 seconds into the period to take advantage of a neutral zone giveaway by center Jonathan Huberdeau.