Boston 2, Montreal 1
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, December 12, 2016
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
MONTREAL – (Wire Service Report by Sports XChange for Digital Sports Desk) – A goaltending duel highlighted a back-and-forth game with plenty of opportunities between a pair of long-time foes. But in the end, the Bruins joined a select group in handing the Montreal Canadiens a loss on home ice.
Ryan Spooner scored at 3:20 of overtime to lift the Bruins to a 2-1 win over Montreal on Monday night at the Bell Centre.
Tuukka Rask made 29 saves for Boston, which snapped a three-game winless streak. Carey Price stopped 27 shots for the Canadiens.
“It was a duel of two of the best goaltenders around so it was nice to see him win this duel and stand tall for us,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said of Rask, who earned just his sixth win in 25 career appearances against Montreal. “The other guy did the same thing for his team. That’s why it was a close game.”
Austin Czarnik scored in regulation for the Bruins (16-12-2) and Paul Byron replied for the Canadiens. Both sides had their chances in the first period. Torey Krug nearly took advantage of Montreal’s inability to clear its zone early on but couldn’t connect. Later, the Canadiens (19-6-4) established zone time on a power play, but Tomas Plekanec’s shot went wide and Nathan Beaulieu missed a gaping open net.
The rivalry, which had cooled off in recent outings, appeared to be somewhat revived later in the period as the physical play picked up. Alexei Emelin sent David Pastrnak to the ice with a thundering hit along the right boards and shortly thereafter Krug caught Andrew Shaw in the neutral zone.
Shaw went to the Canadiens’ locker room for the remainder of the first period but returned in the second period. A few minutes later, Brendan Gallagher dropped the gloves with Krug to avenge the hit.
“Regardless of what you think of it, when you see your teammate get up the way that Shawzie did. … Shawzie’s a guy that would have done that for every single guy in this room,” Gallagher said. “I wasn’t the only guy willing to do that, it was just my turn. One of those things that teammates do for each other.”
The chances continued in the second period. The Bruins applied pressure on a power play but couldn’t convert. After Canadiens rookie Artturi Lehkonen set Shaw up with a backhand feed from behind the net only to be denied by Rask, Pastrnak rang one off the post down at the other end. Montreal turned around and brought the pick up the ice, where Rask pulled a double-pad stack to rob Plekanec of a goal.
“Well, you’ve got to keep some old-school in your game,” the Bruins netminder said wryly. “I’ll probably get clipped on a video from our goalie coach because I was late or something. But, it was a good save. That’s the only way you make highlights nowadays.”
Pastrnak had another good chance a few moments later as he spun around in the slot only to see the puck poked away by Jeff Petry. Then Patrice Bergeron came close to getting the Bruins on the board, but Price got the leg out to make the save.