Habs escape Boston with shootout victory, sit atop Northeast
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Brendan Gallagher netted the winner in the sixth round of the shootout, as Montreal downed Boston, 6-5, in a battle for Northeast Division supremacy at TD Garden.
No shooters from either side scored through the first 10 chances. Peter Budaj stopped Rich Peverley to open the final round, and then Gallagher ended the contest by slipping his shot through the pads of Tuukka Rask.
Michael Ryder tallied twice, with Gallagher, P.K. Subban and Andrei Markov once each for the Canadiens, who moved atop the division by a point over their perennial rivals.
Starter Carey Price allowed four goals on 26 shots in two periods before finding the bench. Budaj ended with 14 saves.
Patrice Bergeron registered a goal and three assists for the Bruins, who have lost four of their last six.
Tyler Seguin added a score and two helpers, Brad Marchand and Nathan Horton also lit the lamp, but Rask allowed five goals on 28 shots in the setback.
The Canadiens led by two early in the second before the Bruins pumped home four straight.
Ryder beat Rask through the pads from the left circle only 4:15 after the drop of the puck, and Subban's slapper from the right point trimmed the crossbar and zipped by Rask with 2:53 played in the middle period.
Doug Hamilton's one-timer from the high slot 39 seconds later put the hosts on the board, and the game was tied, 2-2, at 7:23 when Marchand alertly maintained his post at the left pipe to whack at a puck that caromed off the back boards and bank it off Price's rear end.
Bergeron made it 3-2 with just under three minutes left, hitting a half-open net from the left circle to convert a deflected Torey Krug point drive, and 35 seconds later, Horton finished off a 2-on-1 from the right wing for a two-goal spread.
Tomas Plekanec fed Ryder for a successful one-timer on the left wing to pull the Habs within 4-3 just shy of the four-minute mark of the final period, and momentum continued to shift in short order.
A backhander from Seguin beat Budaj under the crossbar for a two-goal Boston edge with 8:10 remaining, but Gallagher followed up his own rebound for a one- goal contest 28 seconds after.
Montreal pulled the goaltender on a power play with 1:27 remaining, and Rask was sharp to stop a point-blank chance in front, but couldn't come up with a shot from Markov which changed direction off Zdeno Chara's stick with 8.2 seconds left.
Budaj made an arm save on a blistering David Krejci drive during a Bruins advantage late in OT.
The Canadiens have won two of three from the Bruins in the season series, with one more meeting scheduled, in Montreal, on April 6 ... Montreal has won the last three games against the Bruins in Boston which were decided in a shootout, taking a 2-1 decision on Nov. 5, 2009 and a 3-2 win on Feb. 4, 2010 ... Plekanec totaled three assists for the Habs ... The 11 total goals were the most combined for these teams since an 8-6 Boston home victory on Feb. 9, 2011.
03/27 23:18:12 ET