The Montreal Canadiens eked out a, 5-4, win over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night at Bell Centre thanks to an overturned goal in the third period– snapping Boston’s six-game win streak in the process.
Goaltending was optional as Montreal’s Carey Price (7-4-1 record, 2.75 goals against average, .883 save percentage in 12 games played) made 21 saves on 25 shots against for an .840 SV% in the win.
Meanwhile, Boston netminder, Tuukka Rask (7-1-1, 1.88 GAA, .936 SV% in nine games played), stopped 26 out of 31 shots faced for an .839 SV% in the loss.
The Bruins fell to 11-2-2 (24 points) on the season, but remained in control of 1st place in the Atlantic Division, while the Canadiens improved to 8-5-2 (18 points) and tied the Florida Panthers for 4th in the Atlantic in points (though the Panthers hold the tiebreaker, having played in one fewer game than Montreal).
Kevan Miller (knee) and John Moore (shoulder) have yet to debut this season for the Bruins as both missed their 15th game Tuesday night due to lingering injuries from last spring.
Karson Kuhlman (fractured tibia), Joakim Nordstrom (infection), Par Lindholm (upper body) and David Backes (upper body) were all still out against Montreal, with Lindholm as the latest Bruin to join the injured reserve prior to Tuesday’s matchup.
Despite sustaining a nasty cut in Monday night’s, 6-4, win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, Charlie McAvoy was in the lineup against the Canadiens, as was Torey Krug (who caught a skate up high and drew some blood Monday night as well).
Zach Senyshyn was recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) and inserted into the lineup on the right side of the third line with Anders Bjork and Charlie Coyle.
Senyshyn has three points (two goals, one assist) in 12 games with Providence this season and one goal in two career NHL games (made his NHL debut last season).
With Senyshyn entering the lineup, Boston head coach, Bruce Cassidy, bumped Brett Ritchie down to the fourth line right wing with Chris Wagner returning to the left side of Sean Kuraly.
After making his NHL debut against Pittsburgh on Monday, Cameron Hughes joined Steven Kampfer as Boston’s only healthy scratches on Tuesday.
B’s captain, Zdeno Chara, played in his 1,500th career game and became just the 21st player and sixth defender in league history to play in 1,500 or more games in their career.
Chara joined Chris Chelios (1,651 career games), Scott Stevens (1,635), Larry Murphy (1,615), Ray Bourque (1,612) and Nicklas Lidstrom (1,564) as the only defenders to play in 1,500 or more games.
Habs head coach, Claude Julien, reached the 1,200th game of his career behind the bench on Tuesday as well.
Julien won the Cup with the Bruins in 2011 and received an ovation from the Bell Centre crowd before Chara’s milestone was acknowledged at the following media timeout in the first period.
Victor Mete (2) kicked things off with a quick start for Montreal as the Canadiens defender jumped at the perfect opportunity to collect the game’s first goal after the puck deflected off of a teammate in front of the goal and rebounded into the low slot unattended.
Mete’s goal was assisted by Joel Armia (4) and Jeff Petry (7) at 1:13 of the first period and the Habs jumped ahead with the, 1-0, lead.
Late in the period, Mete hooked Senyshyn and was sent to the penalty box with a minor infraction at 14:49 of the first period.
Boston only needed six seconds on the power play for Patrice Bergeron to win the faceoff back to Krug, then slide the puck over to David Pastrnak (15) for the one-timer slap shot power play goal.
Krug (10) and Bergeron (9) tallied the assists as the Bruins tied the game, 1-1, at 14:55.
With the goal, Pastrnak extended his current point streak to 13 games– setting a new career-high in the process. He also became the first Bruin to score 15 goals in their first 15 games of the season since Peter McNab did so in 1976-77.
A couple of minutes later, Tomas Tatar (5) sent a shot off of Rask’s glove and into the twine to put the Canadiens ahead, 2-1.
Brendan Gallagher (6) and Ben Chiarot (2) had the assists on Tatar’s goal at 16:45.
Less than a minute after retaking the lead, Montreal extended their lead to two goals as Paul Byron (1) barely kept the puck in the attacking zone and succeeded on an individual effort– sending a shot through Rask’s five-hole– for his first goal of the season.
Byron’s goal was unassisted at 17:16 of the first period and the Habs led, 3-1.
Entering the first intermission, Montreal led Boston, 3-1, on the scoreboard and, 13-6, in shots on goal.
The Canadiens also held the advantage in blocked shots (5-3), while the Bruins led in giveaways (10-9), hits (12-11) and faceoff win percentage (67-33).
Both teams had two takeaways aside and the B’s were 1/1 on the power play, while the Habs had yet to see any action on the skater advantage heading into the second period.
Less than a minute into the middle frame, Bergeron hooked Phillip Danault and presented the Canadiens with a power play 50 seconds into the second period.
Boston killed Bergeron’s minor infraction without any issue, but followed up the special teams action with another hooking infraction– this time for Pastrnak against Shea Weber at 3:58.
Montreal didn’t capitalize on the ensuing skater advantage.
Almost midway through the period, Ryan Poehling blocked a shot by Krug that rocketed off of the side of Poehling’s helmet, sending the Montreal forward to the ice before the whistle was blown for the injured skater to head down the tunnel under his own power.
While Poehling went down with an injury, so did Petry as the Canadiens defender caught the ice in an awkward manor with his leg.
Petry returned from the dressing room shortly thereafter and had no issues. Poehling returned to the action too without any major damage.
Connor Clifton (1) walzted around two Canadiens players, held the puck and sniped a shot over Price’s glove while Coyle screened the Montreal goaltender at 7:17 of the second period, bringing the Bruins to within one goal.
Clifton’s unassisted effort cut Montreal’s lead to, 3-2, and was his first career regular season NHL goal in just his 32nd career game.
Late in the period, Bjork (2) slid a rebound under Price’s pad from point blank to tie the game, 3-3.
McAvoy (4) had the only assist on the goal at 18:13, but the game wouldn’t remain tied for long.
Almost 40 seconds later, Mete (3) tucked in his 2nd goal of the ngiht with a shot from the point that floated over Rask, top-shelf, as Chara bumped Montreal center, Nate Thompson, into the Boston goaltender.
Artturi Lehkonen (4) and Petry (8) collected the assists on Mete’s goal at 18:55 and the Canadiens regained the lead, 4-3.
Through 40 minutes of action in Montreal, the Habs led the B’s, 4-3, on the scoreboard and, 25-15, in shots on goal (including a, 12-9, advantage for Montreal in the second period alone).
The Canadiens also led in blocked shots (14-7) and takeaways (7-5), while the Bruins led in giveaways (16-15), hits (25-22) and faceoff win% (62-38) entering the second intermission.
Montreal was 0/2 and Boston was still 1/1 on the power play heading into the third period.
Weber caught Brad Marchand with a high stick 14 seconds into the third period and was sent to the sin bin for a minor penalty, but the Bruins weren’t able to capitalize on the ensuing power play.
Instead, in the vulnerable minute after special teams action, Boston’s fourth line went to work with Wagner dishing a quick pass to Kuraly (1) for the fourth line center to bank the puck off of Price’s skate and into the net– tying the game, 4-4, at 3:03 of the third period.
Wagner (4) had the only assist on the goal and the B’s had momentum on their side.
Moments later, after Coyle thought he had scored by redirecting a pass from Senyshyn through Price’s five-hole while the Habs goaltender was without his stick, Julien used his coach’s challenge arguing that the Bruins had originally entered the zone offside.
After review, it was determined that Coyle had just barely entered the zone by about half a skate ahead of the puck and was offside prior to the play that led to the goal and the call on the ice was overturned at 5:23.
Instead of rallying against the overturned call, Boston went into a hole and found themselves clamoring towards the end of games in back-to-back nights.
Chiarot (2) sent a shot of Rask’s glove and into the back of the net to give the Canadiens the lead once more, 5-4, at 9:06 of the third period after Montreal sustained tremendous pressure in the attacking zone.
Weber (8) and Tatar (8) each had an assist on the game-winning goal as the Canadiens never looked back for the remaining half-a-period.
After Boston iced the puck with 58.5 seconds remaining, Julien used his timeout to rally his attackers for one last push for a goal before the Bruins could pull their goaltender for an extra skater.
Neither team could score as time expired and the final horn sounded at Bell Centre.
The Canadiens had finished Boston’s six-game winning streak with a, 5-4, victory on home ice.
Montreal wrapped up Tuesday night’s contest leading in shots on goal (31-25), blocked shots (27-11) and giveaways (24-19), while Boston led in shots on net in the third period alone (10-6), hits (36-31) and faceoff win% (60-40).
The Canadiens went 0/2 on the power play and the B’s finished the game 1/2 on the skater advantage.
Boston is now 4-2-1 on the road this season and 1-1-1 when trailing after two periods.
The Bruins face the Detroit Red Wings on Friday at Little Caesars Arena. Boston returns home on Nov. 10th for a two-game homestand against the Philadelphia Flyers (Nov. 10th) and Florida (Nov. 12th).