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Montreal at Boston

Canadiens continue dominance of Bruins, take back lead in East

CBSSports.com wire reports

BOSTON -- The Montreal Canadiens moved back into first place in the Eastern Conference, yet their attention was still focused on the team they just beat.

Alexei Kovalev had two goals and an assist, and Carey Price made 34 saves to lift the Canadiens to their 10th consecutive victory against the Boston Bruins, winning 4-2 on Thursday night.

Montreal has won all seven meetings this season, and tied a franchise record for the most consecutive victories against Boston. That mark was set in the 1944-45 season.

"Some teams just play well against other teams, and that's just the way it goes," Price said.

The Canadiens moved one point ahead of the idle New Jersey Devils in the race for the top seed in the East playoffs.

Boston has one more chance this season to beat the Canadiens, and that will come Saturday night in Montreal.

"We are playing against them the way Ottawa plays against us," Kovalev said. "It's still just two points."

The Bruins also are perplexed about why this Original Six rivalry has been so one-sided lately.

"The onus is on us to change this," defenseman Aaron Ward said. "It sounds bad to say, but I thought we were better against them tonight. Shame on us if we are not ready for them on Saturday."

Boston's home arena was about half-filled with Canadiens fans, and they could be heard from the opening faceoff.

Kovalev gave Montreal a 2-0 lead with a pair of highlight-reel goals in the second period. He scored his first when he spun around Bruins captain Zdeno Chara and wristed a shot past surprised goalie Tim Thomas 8:20 into the period.

"If he (Kovalev) doesn't have any votes for MVP, I will be really upset," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "We are at the top of the conference and he is a big part of it."

He victimized Chara again along with Dennis Wideman as he deftly maneuvered between the defenseman and slid a soft shot through the Thomas' pads at 13:21.

Chara was a game-time decision and returned to the lineup after missing five games with an upper-body injury.

Mark Stuart cut the Canadiens' lead in half 27 seconds after Kovalev's second goal when his shot from the blue line ricocheted past Price. Stuart took advantage of a pass off the stick of Shane Hnidy, who made a diving play at the blue line to prevent a clearing attempt by Montreal.

Michael Ryder scored an insurance goal 6:37 into the third period when he converted a perfect feed from Saku Koivu to give Montreal a 3-1 lead.

Sergei Kostitsyn capped the scoring for Montreal with 8:47 remaining.

Wideman brought the Bruins back within two goals with 3:05 left in the game, but Boston fell to 2-5-3 over its past 10.

"I can't put the puck in the net for the players," coach Claude Julien said. "Somewhere in that dressing room someone has to have goals in them."

The seventh-place Bruins are clinging to a playoff position but are only two points ahead of Buffalo, which is on the outside of the postseason race. Both teams have eight games remaining.


  • Kovalev has seven goals and four assists, and Mark Streit has 10 assists against Boston this season.
  • Montreal D Andrei Markov, tied for second on the team in points, is scoreless in the past six games.
  • The Bruins haven't scored more than three goals in 11 consecutive games.
  • Montreal's Mike Komisarek left in the first period with a lower-body injury and didn't return.
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Carey Price denies Phil Kessel en route to helping lead Montreal to a key road victory.  (Getty Images)
Carey Price denies Phil Kessel en route to helping lead Montreal to a key road victory. (Getty Images)
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Montreal  (41-24-10) «0224
Boston (37-28-9)0112
Three Stars
A. Kovalev

Goals: 2
Assist(s): 1
C. Price

Saves: 34
Save Pct.: .944
A. Kostitsyn

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
08:19Alexei Kovalev (32), Backhand Shot. Assist: Andrei Kostitsyn, Josh Gorges
13:21Alexei Kovalev (33), Backhand Shot, Unassisted.
13:48Mark Stuart (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Shane Hnidy, Chuck Kobasew
06:47Michael Ryder (13), Snap Shot. Assist: Saku Koivu, Guillaume Latendresse
11:13Andrei Kostitsyn (23), Tip-In. Assist: Alexei Kovalev, Mark Streit
16:55Dennis Wideman (12), Slap Shot. Assist: Petteri Nokelainen, P.J. Axelsson
Penalty Summary
07:20Latendresse, 2 min, Hooking
13:13Murray, 2 min, Slashing
06:43Kostopoulos, 5 min, Fighting
06:43Reich, 5 min, Fighting
10:09Kostitsyn, 2 min, Hooking
17:41Kessel, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
03:32Kovalev, 2 min, Tripping
12:18Stuart, 2 min, Tripping
19:52Kostitsyn, 2 min, Holding
20:00Lucic, 2 min, Cross-Checking
Shots On Goal
Carey Price60:00342
Tim Thomas58:48264
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 17565
Referees - Kerry Fraser, Don Van Massenhoven
Linesmen - David Brisebois, Brian Murphy
Other Games
Colo 1 Final
Cal 2
TB 2 Final
Pitt 4
Van 4 Final
Edm 1
Det 6 Final
Nash 3
LA 6 Final
Pho 5
StL 2 Final
Ott 3
Car 2 Final
Fla 1