Patrice Bergeron, who had an atypical rough night in the faceoff circle, scored his 18th goal of the season at 17:05 of the third period to lead the Boston Bruins to a 4-2 win over the Canadiens Tuesday at the Bell Centre. It was the sixth consecutive win for the Bruins, who have the best record in the NHL at 38-5-4.
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The Canadiens had the only power play in the first period and they looked like the team with the worst power play record in the NHL.
For starters, they had a difficult time entering the offensive zone and failed to get a shot on goal. That would have been bad enough but Sam Montembeault was forced to make two short-handed saves. He stopped Pavel Zacha on a breakaway and made a save on defenceman Hampus Lindholm who was the trailer on a 3-on-2 break.
And the Montreal goaltender had to come up big when Brad Marchand came out of the penalty box with a step on Arber Xhekaj and tested Montembeault a third time in less than two minutes.
The Canadiens struck first when Kirby Dach scored on a power play at 9:11 of the second period. The Canadiens, who looked out of whack on a first-period advantage, took control of their second opportunity when Nick Suzuki, who drew the interference penalty from Derek Forbort, won the draw in the offensive zone.
Dach was in position in the left faceoff circle and beat Jeremy Swayman after taking a cross-ice pass from Mike Hoffman.
The Bruins retaliated with a power-play goal at 14:12 when Taylor Hall scored on the rebound of a shot by David Pastrnak. Montembeault was the difference on a power play early in the period. He made a save on Pastrnak and thwarted Zacha when he was sent in alone by Krejci.
The Bruins took their first lead of the game when David Krejci deflected Pastrnak’s shot from the blue line at 9:45 of the third period. Krejci was battling Justin Barron for position in front of the net when he got his stick on the shot.
The Canadiens once again displayed their resilience when Dach tied the score at 11:31. Dach scored his second goal of the game — and 10th of the season — when he backhanded the rebound of a shot by Alex Belzile.
Pastrnak added an empty-net goal after the Canadiens pulled Sam Montembeault for an extra attacker.
The Canadiens have three more games before they enjoy a bye week.
Montreal is home to the Detroit Red Wings Thursday (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and they play a pair of games against the Senators Saturday in Ottawa and Tuesday at the Bell Centre.
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