Canadiens snap Bruins’ 12-game winning streak

Montreal Canadiens left wing Rene Bourque (17) controls the puck behind the goal while Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and defenseman Johnny Boychuk defend during the second period at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston Monday night.
Bob DeChiara | USA Today Sports
Montreal Canadiens left wing Rene Bourque (17) controls the puck behind the goal while Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and defenseman Johnny Boychuk defend during the second period at TD Banknorth Garden in Boston Monday night.
Posted March 24, 2014, at 10:53 p.m.

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 RW 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 Tuesday night. … Montreal C Lars Eller was a late scratch with a lower-body injury suffered Saturday night. … Reports were circulating that Bruins D 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.”

Rangers 4, Coyotes 3 (OT)

NEW YORK — Defenseman Ryan McDonagh scored in overtime to lift the New York Rangers over the Phoenix Coyotes 4-3 on Monday at Madison Square Garden.

McDonagh, who also assisted on the game-tying goal in the third period, poked in a rebound at 1:56 of the extra period.

Phoenix (34-26-12) got a strong effort from goaltender Mike Smith, who stopped 25 shots before leaving in the third period with a leg injury. The 32-year-old Smith was making his 12th straight start for the Coyotes. He was also in the Phoenix net for 15 consecutive games from Feb. 1-March 4.

Smith left the game with 7:34 to play after Rangers center Derick Brassard landed on him in the crease. He was replaced by Thomas Greiss.

The Rangers (40-29-4) picked up two points and remain in second place in the Metropolitan Division, just head of Philadelphia, who they host on Wednesday.

New York defenseman Dan Girardi, not known for his offense, tied the game at 3 at 16:52 when he deflected McDonagh’s blast from the right point. It was Girardi’s fifth goal and first since Feb. 7. It was also McDonagh’s 100th career point.

Phoenix snapped a 2-2 tie in the second period. The puck slid off New York left winger Chris Kreider’s stick as he was trying to wrap up the Coyotes center Kyle Chipchura on a counter attack. Chipchura was credited with the goal, his first in 56 games, at 16:51, from defenseman Zbynek Michalek

Brassard tied the game at 2 for the Rangers with his 17th goal of the season at 10:53 of the second period. Brassard scored from the right circle after getting his own rebound. He has four goals in his last four games.

New York center Brad Richards cut the Phoenix lead in half at 2-1, deflecting left winger Carl Hagelin’s shot from the high slot at 6:10 of the second period. Richards broke out of an 11-game scoring drought with his 17th of the season.

The Rangers lost the momentum created by honoring their goalie Henrik Lundqvist before the game. Lundqvist became New York’s all-time winningest goalie with his 302nd win March 18 at Ottawa and set the franchise mark with his 50th shutout March 22 at New Jersey.

Center Jeff Halpern gave the Coyotes a 2-0 edge at 8:22 of the first period. He received a backhand pass from Chipchura behind the net and one-timed it from the slot for his fifth goal of the season and second in the last four games.

Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson rifled a wrist a shot over Lundqvist’s left shoulder racing down the right wing untouched. The power play goal at 4:40 of the first period gave Phoenix a 1-0 lead. It was Ekman-Larsson’s 13th goal of the season, tying his career-high. The Coyotes own the league’s third-best power-play unit, scoring on 20.8 percent of their chances.

New York failed to capitalize on two power-play opportunities in the first period.

 

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