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Montreal at Boston

Canadiens hand slumping Bruins ninth consecutive loss

CBSSports.com wire reports
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BOSTON -- If Jaroslav Halak had his way, he wouldn't have to face 40 shots. But when it happens, the Montreal goalie is tough to beat.

Halak is 7-0 in games he has faced 40 shots or more this season, making 45 saves and three more in the shootout Thursday night to carry the Canadiens to a 3-2 victory against the free-falling Bruins, losers of nine straight.

"As long as we win, it doesn't matter how many shots they have and we have," Halak said. "It would be nice to get more shots on net, but we have to find our game."

Brian Gionta found the net in the third round of the shootout, beating Tuukka Rask with a backhander up high, before Halak stopped Marc Savard to end the game.

"We gave up a lot of big opportunities, but Halak came up big," Gionta said.

The Bruins, 0-7-2 during the second-longest losing streak in club history, and 1-9-3 in their past 13 games, have also lost eight straight at home (0-6-2), also the second-longest stretch in team history.

Boston blew a 2-0 lead when the Canadiens got goals from former Bruin Glen Metropolit and Roman Hamrlik 39 seconds apart late in the second period.

Boston then wasted two power-play chances in the third period and a 4-on-3 in overtime before losing in the shootout for the second time in the first three games of a four-game homestand.

"We wound up in a shootout and we shouldn't have gotten there," Boston coach Claude Julien said.

The Bruins have 89 shots in the past two games and have one point to show for it.

"It's frustrating, to say the least," Julien said. "To be honest with you, I don't think I've ever seen that as a coach or experienced that as a player."

Rask fell to 0-4-1 in his past five starts, since a 4-0 shutout of Atlanta Dec. 30.

Boston has scored 14 goals during the nine-game streak, 11 in the past eight.

Montreal beat the rival Bruins for the third time in three tries this season.

Mark Recchi and Blake Wheeler gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead, but Metropolit, on the power play, and Hamrlik tied it.

The two-goal lead was the first for the Bruins in eight games, since they took a 2-0 lead in Los Angeles on Jan. 16. They eventually lost that game in a shootout, starting the losing streak.

Recchi tipped home Dennis Wideman's slapper at 15:48 of the first period. After the goal, Halak came up with several big saves, one on Michael Ryder, as the Bruins continued to dominate.

The Bruins made it 2-0 when David Krejci carried the puck down the right side and his centering pass hit Halak's pad and went right to Wheeler, who scored his first goal in eight games and 13th of the season.

The Canadiens, looking like a beaten team, were quiet before striking late in the period. Boston's Matt Hunwick was off for hooking when Metropolit slid home a rebound for his first goal in 19 games. Shortly after, Hamrlik let a wrist shot go from inside the left point and Rask, screened on the play, saw the puck fly over his glove for Hamrlik's first goal in his past 20 games.

Scott Gomez assisted on both goals.

The Bruins continued to have the better of the offensive play in the third period, including three chances by Marco Sturm, but also wasted the two power plays. They had a 42-21 shots advantage heading into overtime and had five more shots in the extra five minutes.

Notes

  • The game marked the 702nd regular-season game between the rivals, who meet again Sunday in Montreal.
  • Krejci and Tomas Plekanec of the Canadiens will be teammates on the Czech Republic team and Bruins Zdeno Chara and Miroslav Satan will team up with Halak for Slovakia at the Olympics.
Copyright 2014 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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Brian Gionta scores the only goal of the shootout, securing a win for the Canadiens. (AP)
Brian Gionta scores the only goal of the shootout, securing a win for the Canadiens. (AP)

Scoreboard
Montreal  (27-25-6) «02001 (1)3
Boston (23-22-10)11000 (0)2
Three Stars
J. Halak
MON


Saves: 45
Save Pct.: .957
P. Bergeron
BOS


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
S. Gomez
MON


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
15:48Power Play - Mark Recchi (11), Tip-In. Assist: Morris, Wideman
2ND PERIOD
05:25Blake Wheeler (13), Wrist Shot. Assist: Krejci, Ryder
17:06Power Play - Glen Metropolit (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: Gomez, Markov
17:45Roman Hamrlik (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kostitsyn, Gomez
3RD PERIOD
None
OT
None
2OT
 Brian Gionta (2), GOAL
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
46.0Gionta, 2 min, Hooking
09:13Spacek, 2 min, Interference
14:27Markov, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
2ND PERIOD
16:08Hunwick, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
05:06Moen, 2 min, Hooking
06:59Krejci, 2 min, High-Sticking
16:18Lapierre, 2 min, Boarding
OT
01:19Hamrlik, 2 min, Tripping
2OT
None
Shots On Goal
 123T
Montreal59721
Boston15171042
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGASO SSO GA
Jaroslav Halak 65:0045230
Tuukka Rask 65:0023231
Game Information
Attendance - 17565
Referees - Steve Kozari, Brad Watson
Linesmen - Shane Heyer, Pierre Racicot
 
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