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The Bruins were forced to play catch-up, almost from the first minute of action Thursday night in Montreal. The B’s would never catch the Habs however, falling to the Canadiens, 4-3 at Bell Centre. The win snapped a season-long three-game losing streak for Montreal, while the Bruins squandered their chance to tie the Canadiens atop the Northeast Division. Instead, they fall four points behind and continue to sit in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Just 64 seconds into the contest, Montreal’s Mike Cammalleri got the scoring going. The forward was awarded a penalty shot after a Milan Lucic turnover forced Zdeno Chara to hook Cammalleri on his breakaway. Cammalleri then faked out Tim Thomas pretty easily for the team’s first goal of the night. Minutes later, it was Maxim Lapierre who doubled the Habs’ lead to two, putting a rebound past Thomas.
Blake Wheeler was able to light the lamp and cut the deficit in half, sneaking one past Carey Price from a very tough angle, but in the final minute of the first period, the Canadiens went up by two goals again, with Max Pacioretty scoring his first goal of the year to help the Habs take a 3-1 advantage after 20 minutes.
Each team scored once in the second period, with the highlight being Marc Savard’s first goal of the year. Savard got credit for tipping in a shot from Andrew Ference about seven minutes into the period, inching the B’s closer. But Brian Gionta got the Habs their two-goal lead back on a tip-in of his own, going up 4-2 heading into the final period.
The B’s made the final few minutes interesting, when Milan Lucic scored his team-leading 16th goal of the year on the power play with just under five minutes remaining. Boston had their chances to even the score down the stretch, but their efforts were too little, too late, with Montreal fending off the B’s and holding on for the slim 4-3 victory.
The Black and Gold will try to right the ship on Saturday, when they return home to TD Garden to host the struggling Washington Capitals. The Caps have lost seven straight games, so you can bet they will be a desperate team heading into Saturday’s contest.