MONTREAL – It was certainly an entertaining chapter in the Boston/Montreal rivalry that was worth the wait of the entire season to this point, and it ended happily for the Black and Gold.
Brad Marchand finished with the shootout game-winner for the B’s to give them a 4-3 shootout victory at the Bell Centre in their first meeting with old coach Claude Julien behind the Montreal bench. It extended the B’s point streak to 12 games, and gives the Bruins an amazing 18-3-3 record over their last 24 games dating back to mid-November.
It was truly a back-and-forth affair during the opening 40 minutes in classic Bruins/Habs fashion. Max Pacioretty kicked things off little more than three minutes into the first period when he followed the rebound of a Victor Mete point shot, and outmuscled Matt Grzelcyk for the loose puck to flip over Tuukka Rask’s outstretched leg pads. Brad Marchand evened it up with a power play goal for his 18th of the season late in the period, and the two arch-rivals were at it again in the middle 20 minutes.
This time it was Jake DeBrusk that scored after getting freed up on a brilliant Charlie McAvoy stretch pass, and three minutes later Montreal energy forward Nic Deslauriers took advantage of a stumbling Zdeno Chara to even it up again.
Alex Galchenyuk temporarily gave the Canadiens the lead again when he roofed a power play wrist shot from the right circle past Rask, but David Krejci scored on a loose puck in the slot with less than three minutes to go in the second period.
The middle period actually ended early after Phillip Danault was hit in the head by a Zdeno Chara slap-shot at the 1:37 mark, and Danault was eventually taken via ambulance to a Montreal city hospital with a head injury.