Bruins skate to win over Canadiens
MONTREAL — Veteran Zdeno Chara jumpstarted the Bruins on their way to a come-from-behind victory with some impressive stick work.
Chara assisted on the first of three third-period goals for Boston en route to a 3-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night that snapped the Bruins' seven-game skid in the rivalry.
Playing short-handed, Chara batted the puck out of mid-air from deep in his own zone to send Loui Eriksson on a breakaway. Eriksson's goal made it 1-1 and sparked the late rally.
"Zee (Chara) made a heck of a play on that first goal and that got us going," said goaltender Tuukka Rask, who recorded his first career regular-season victory against the Canadiens. "That kind of caught them off guard after that and we scored a couple of quick ones."
Landon Ferraro scored a go-ahead goal 42 seconds later, and Patrice Bergeron followed with a milestone score with 6:18 left, surpassing Milt Schmidt for 11th on the franchise list with his 576th point.
Eriksson said he wasn't aware Chara had used his hockey stick like a baseball bat to make the play.
"I didn't see that," Eriksson said. "Good play by him then. It was a late shift for me but I was able to find some room to get a breakaway. I didn't really see what happened."
Paul Byron scored for Montreal 8:49 into the first, and the Canadiens lost their season-high third straight game.
Rask stopped 32 shots to help Boston win for the second time in five games since ending a five-game win streak.
Mike Condon stopped 20 shots for the Canadiens.
Boston hadn't beaten Montreal since March 12, 2014.
Ferraro beat Condon with a snap shot to the blocker side.
"All of a sudden the control of the game came to our side," Chara said. "We got more jump from that and we were feeling better after those two goals. You could tell by our forecheck."
Bergeron scored after a nice play by Brad Marchand to snag a loose puck behind Montreal's net. Marchand passed to Bergeron in the slot, and the Bruins center waited out Condon and beat him with a forehand move.
"We played well until the end, until we fell asleep there," Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty said. "It's frustrating. Great play by Chara to spring him on the breakaway, but we can't take our foot off the gas when that happens. We fell asleep after that."
Byron got his fourth goal of the season after his centering pass to Tomas Plekanec went off Bruins defenseman Zach Trotman and in. Byron now has points in three of his last four games.
Montreal repeatedly tested Rask in the first two periods, outshooting Boston 26-14 through 40 minutes, but the Bruins netminder kept his team in the game going into the third.
Condon made his sixth consecutive start and also made big stops throughout before the third-period collapse.
In the first, Condon reacted quickly to make the pad save on Brett Connolly, who was alone in front of goal. In the second, Condon stopped a puck through traffic off Chara's long stick.
Notes: Montreal is now 11-2-2 when leading after two periods. ... The Bruins' league-best power play finished 0 for 2. ... The Canadiens won both previous games versus the Bruins this season by a score of 4-2. The teams' next game will be the NHL Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. ... Earlier in the day, the Canadiens put Alexander Semin on unconditional waivers in order to terminate his contract. Forward Charles Hudon was recalled from Montreal's AHL affiliate.
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