Tuesday, March 25, 2014
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Canadiens end Bruins' streak with shootout win

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[March 25, 2014]  BOSTON  The Montreal Canadiens had more on their minds than ending the 12-game winning streak of the rival Boston Bruins on Monday night.

At this time of year, it's all about the points.

"Honestly, the way I see things, it's more about getting those two points and trying to qualify for the playoffs," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said after his team snapped the Bruins' streak with a hard-hitting 2-1 shootout victory.

"We played for two points tonight and I believe our guys did a fantastic job killing penalties  we gave them four power plays in the third period and only allowed them six shots, so the guys on the penalty killing did a great job."

Backup goaltender Peter Budaj, starting because of past performances against the Bruins, stopped 28 shots in the game and then all four shootout attempts. Center Alex Galchenyuk scored the only shootout goal in the fourth round as the Canadiens, who are tied for second in the Atlantic Division, won for the fourth time in the last five games.

Galchenyuk, 0-for-6 on shootout attempts this season before Monday, beat Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask with the winner. Rask dropped to 0-5-3 lifetime against the Canadiens at home.

Budaj is 5-2 lifetime against the Bruins, but 5-0 with a .960 save percentage in Boston.

"I'm not superstitious," Budaj said after the game when asked about his play in Boston. "It's not just me  I need the team to score goals and guys to block shots and do things right and the games here (this season) we came with really strong performances; Boston played really good, too.

"It's always fun to play those games and somehow we keep winning these games and that's what we need."

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 his 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 the game 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.

Rask made 21 saves in the game, but saw his seven-game winning streak snapped.

Asked if having the winning streak end in a shootout is painful, Rask said, "Well, any game, to lose in a shootout sucks. Still got a point, though."

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.

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Despite the shootout loss, the Bruins moved ahead of the St. Louis Blues and into the top spot in the overall league standings. Boston leads by a point and the Blues have a game in hand.

Boston coach Claude Julien thought his team had a typical start after coming off the road. It took awhile to get going after playing three games in three time zones. The Bruins were better as the game wore on.

"We managed to get that point and I guess if we have a weakness, it's in the shootouts, we don't do well," Julien said. "I don't care about that because that doesn't happen in playoffs."

The Bruins fell to 2-4 in shootouts and Rask is just 14-13 lifetime.

Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller knocked Montreal forwards Dale Weise and Travis Moen out on the same play just 4:50 into the game. He cross-checked Weise into the boards and when Moen stepped in, the pair went at it. Miller got the better of Moen in the tussle thanks to a hard right hand that connected.

Both Weise and a clearly dazed Moen went to the locker room and did not return. Both players, along with injured center Lars Eller, are penalty killers.

NOTES: Montreal is 31-0-3 when leading after two periods. ... 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.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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