NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Boston
(Thursday, February 26th)
Final Score: Montreal 3, Boston 2 (OT)
Boston, MA (Sports Network) - Craig Rivet scored with one minute left in overtime, lifting the Montreal Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the Boston Bruins in a battle of Original Six teams at the FleetCenter.
Yanic Perreault and Michael Ryder also scored for Montreal, while Jose Theodore finished with 37 saves. The Canadiens have won three straight and four of their last five games.
Martin Lapointe and Travis Green scored for the Bruins, who are winless in their last four (0-1-2-1). Boston had been shut out in its last two games, a 2-0 setback against Florida on Monday and a scoreless tie against the New York Islanders on Wednesday.
"I think it's kind of frustrating the way we keep giving these points away," said Boston goaltender Andrew Raycroft. "We're coming down to the end of the season and playoffs are coming. Games like this we'll need to win. It's a little frustrating, but we'll be alright."
Raycroft finished with 23 saves in defeat and failed to stop the only shot he faced in the extra session.
Saku Koivu started the play on the winning goal by carrying the puck into the Boston zone. He cut toward the right circle and dropped a pass to a trailing Rivet, who quickly fired a shot from the slot past Raycroft for his fourth goal of the season.
"I saw a break where I could join the rush," said Rivet. "Saku made a great play and Richard [Zednik] drove the net to take a defenseman with him. I set the puck down and wanted to go high and I was happy it went in."
Theodore was outstanding in a scoreless third period with 10 saves and stopped all three shots he faced in overtime. He also got some help when the Bruins hit the post three times throughout the contest.
"A big win for sure," Theodore said. "We're looking at Buffalo and the Islanders behind us and the [playoff] race is so tight that we need every point we can get."
Montreal evened the season series at 2-2-1, with both victories coming in overtime. The teams had combined for just six goals in the first four meetings before erupting for five in this one.
"They came at us hard but we found a way to win at the end," said Canadiens head coach Claude Julien. "That's the most important thing at this stage of the season, when points are most precious, most important."
The Canadiens grabbed a 1-0 lead at 10:26 of the first period when Perreault scored his 10th goal of the season. Koivu got the puck to Andrei Markov, who skated deep into the Boston zone along the left boards. Markov sent a weak pass toward the slot for Perreault, who ripped a one-timer past Raycroft on the glove side.
The Bruins tied it just over five minutes later on a power play. Brian Rolston skated through the left circle and fired a shot from a sharp angle that Theodore stopped. The rebound caromed into the slot for a charging Lapointe, who quickly fired it home for his 11th goal of the season.
It also ended Boston's scoreless streak at 152 minutes and 53 seconds, dating back to the third period of last Saturday's game at Carolina.
Montreal cashed in a power play in the final minute of the period to regain the lead. Mike Ribiero made a neat move through the right circle, dragging the puck through his own skates as he worked his way around Rolston. Ribiero then fed a pass back into the high slot for Ryder, who snapped a shot past Raycroft for his 19th goal.
The Bruins tied it just 38 seconds into the second period. Green deflected a point shot by Nick Boynton and was able to control the puck in the slot before backhanding a shot past a sprawled Theodore, who was out of position while anticipating the point shot.
"Obviously, we need to have the killer instinct," said Lapointe. "When we were tied 2-2, we thought we could score the winning goal. But the overtime was wide open, up and down and then they managed to make a big play and that was it."
Rivet played in his 500th NHL game...The Canadiens had been blanked for 105 minutes and 18 seconds in the series before Perreault's goal...Boston played without rookie forward Patrice Bergeron, who suffered a shoulder injury on Tuesday against the New York Islanders...Green returned to the lineup after missing 10 games with a rib injury...Nine of Lapointe's 11 goals this season have come on the power play...The teams wore vintage uniforms -- the Bruins from their last Stanley Cup year of 1971-72.
02/26 23:17:21 ET