Tyler Seguin's shootout goal gave Boston a 4-3 victory over Montreal on Wednesday night after the Bruins squandered a two-goal lead in the third period.
"It felt like a bit more passionate game than we've been playing recently," said Thomas, who improved to 5-0 in shootouts this season. "We brought the effort, and we had a better team energy than we've had lately. And part of that, I think, was the way Montreal came at us -- but we responded, which is a good thing."
"It's hard to say it's a good game when we don't come up with two points at this time of the year, when we're on the outside looking in," Pacioretty said.
Price stopped 31 shots for the Canadiens, which had a four-game winning streak snapped on Monday with a 5-3 loss to Carolina.
Montreal is 12th in the Eastern Conference.
"It's unfortunate that because of that Carolina game, now we've lost two in a row and we're not where we could be," Darche said. "I think the last two weeks we've played the way we should have all year, and if we would have done that I don't think we'd be in this situation."
Pacioretty scored his team-leading 24th goal 3:34 into the third to draw the Canadiens within 3-2. Cole tied it with his 22nd goal at 11:12, deking around Thomas and beating him with a backhand.
"I don't know if we got caught off guard. We've got to be better," Bergeron said. "We know they're a team that never stops battling, and they showed that again. We found a way but we're not happy with our last period."
Bruins center Brad Marchand put a shot off the crossbar 2:41 into overtime.
Marchand was given a minor penalty for clipping for his low hit on Montreal defenseman Alexei Emelin at the end of the second. He was suspended for five games last month after he was given a major for clipping and a game misconduct for his hit on Vancouver's Sami Salo on Jan. 7.
Pouliot restored Boston's lead at 2-1 with his ninth goal 5:07 into the second. The former Montreal left wing stick-handled past defenseman Chris Campoli to gain the slot before firing a shot past Price.
Bergeron scored his 17th goal on a power play 14:33 into the second to put Boston up 3-1. The tally came with 6 seconds left in a penalty to Cole, the second of two straight goalie interference calls against Montreal that gave the Bruins a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:12.
Ference scored his fifth goal 17:09 in. The defenseman beat Price with a shot from the top of right circle after Marchand intercepted the puck from defenseman Hal Gill along the boards behind the Canadiens' net.
Darche tied it with a short-handed goal 1:39 into the second, driving the net to direct P.K. Subban's centering pass inside the left post.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was struck on the chin when Tomas Plekanec attempted to clear the Canadiens' zone with a slap shot of a rolling puck at the end of the first. The sold-out crowd of 21,273 continued to cheer even as Chara was down on the ice for several moments before he made his way to the dressing room.
"It's very disappointing," Chara said. "You have a guy lying on the ice kind of hurt and they give a standing ovation for that. What can I say? There's nothing much I can say about that. I can't control that, and I moved on. I got up, I got stitched up, and I was back in the second."
Chara delivered a devastating hit on Pacioretty last March. The Canadiens forward sustained a broken vertebra in his neck and missed the rest of the regular season and Montreal's first-round playoff loss to the Bruins.
|Boston's Tyler Seguin scores the game-winner for the Bruins in a shootout win over the Canadiens. (Getty Images)|
|Boston (35-18-2) «||1||2||0||0||1 (1)||4|
|Montreal (23-25-10)||0||1||2||0||0 (0)||3|
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|17:09||- Andrew Ference (5), Wrist Shot. Assist: Marchand|
|01:39||Short - Mathieu Darche (4), Tip-In. Assist: Subban|
|05:07||- Benoit Pouliot (9), Wrist Shot. Assist: Kelly, Peverley|
|14:33||Power Play - Patrice Bergeron (17), Wrist Shot. Assist: Seguin, Chara|
|03:34||- Max Pacioretty (24), Wrist Shot. Assist: Desharnais, Cole|
|11:12||- Erik Cole (22), Backhand Shot, Unassisted.|
|- Tyler Seguin (4), GOAL|
|09:11||Seidenberg, 2 min, Cross-Checking|
|14:15||White, 5 min, Fighting|
|14:15||McQuaid, 5 min, Fighting|
|15:16||Seidenberg, 2 min, Tripping|
|15:43||Pacioretty, 2 min, Goaltender Interference|
|17:59||Eller, 4 min, High-Sticking|
|05:27||Kostitsyn, 2 min, Interference|
|11:52||Paille, 2 min, Goaltender Interference|
|11:52||Leblanc, 2 min, Goaltender Interference|
|12:39||Cole, 2 min, Goaltender Interference|
|20:00||Marchand, 2 min, Clipping|
|05:00||Boychuk, 2 min, Interference|
|18:37||Plekanec, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass|
|Shots On Goal|