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After an unexpected 12-game winning streak, the Bruins were brought back down to earth by the rival Montreal Canadiens.
After outscoring opponents 47-16 during their winning streak, Boston was unable to generate the offense needed to top Montreal. The Canadiens have now won six of the last seven meetings between the two teams. The lone Boston win came on March 12th in the midst of their 12-game hot streak.
The team’s win streak was one game shy of their longest winning streak since 1970-71 and two games short of the franchise record set in 1929-30.
The Canadiens were able to frustrate the Bruins and force them to play uncharacteristically undisciplined. Montreal capitalized with a power play goal in the first period. Boston was able to keep the deficit at one late into the third period. Finally, on the Bruins’ sixth power play of the game, Dougie Hamilton sent a wrister towards the net that deflected off Patrice Bergeron and tied the game.
After several chances to win the game in the final minutes of the third and in overtime, the Bruins just couldn’t manage to put the puck in the net and the game went into a shootout. After four failed shootout attempts by Boston, Montreal’s Alex Galchenyuk was able to beat Tuukka Rask for the win.
The Bruins fell to 2-4 in games decided in a shootout this season. Bruins coach Claude Julien didn’t seem too concerned: “We managed to get that point, and if we have a weakness, it’s pretty obvious it’s in the shootouts,” Julien said. “We don’t do well, and I don’t care about that because it doesn’t happen in playoffs.”
With 10 games left in the season the Bruins hold the top spot in the Atlantic Division, while Montreal is tied with Tampa Bay in the battle to determine the second and third seeds. If the season ended today, the Bruins would win the Presidents’ Trophy.
Even though they’ve already clinched a playoff spot, the one thing the Bruins won’t need in their next game is motivation with the Chicago Blackhawks coming to town on Thursday. This will be Chicago’s first time in Boston since beating the Bruins for the Stanley Cup on June 24th last season.