Bruins Down Canadiens In Julien’s Return To Boston
BOSTON (AP) — David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner each scored an early goal, Tuukka Rask stopped 21 shots and the Bruins beat Montreal 4-1 Wednesday night in Canadiens coach Claude Julien’s return to Boston.
The surging Bruins have earned at least a point in 14 straight games (10-0-4), their longest stretch since going 15-0-1 in March 2014.
Brad Marchand added a power-play goal in the third period, David Krejci had an empty-netter and Patrice Bergeron had two assists for Boston, which posted its second win over the Canadiens in five days.
The teams meet again in Montreal on Saturday night.
Jakub Jerabek scored his first NHL goal for Montreal, and Carey Price made 28 saves.
Julien, who coached Boston’s Stanley Cup-winning team in 2011, was fired last Feb. 7 in his 10th season. He was replaced by assistant and current Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, who opted for more up-tempo, charge-into-the-zone play from his defensemen as opposed to Julien’s mostly defensive-minded style.
Rask extended his career-best point streak to 15 games (13-0-2), including a 4-3 shootout win at Montreal last Saturday.
Trailing 1-0, Boston tied it 6:50 into the first when Pastrnak took a pass from Bergeron at the bottom of the left circle and slipped a wrister behind Price.
The Bruins took the lead early in the second when Spooner’s backhander from just outside the crease caromed into the net off the right skate of Montreal winger Jonathan Drouin.
Montreal had a two-man power-play advantage for 69 seconds midway into the second — immediately after Rask made a pad-stop on Drouin’s clean break in — but Boston limited the Canadiens’ shots to mostly lower-percentage chances from the outside.
Marchand’s team-leading 19th goal came 3:40 into the period.
Jerabek’s shot from the left point found its way through a group of players in front and slipped into the net 31 seconds into the game.
NOTES: Julien got a brief ovation during a video tribute midway into the opening period, but the crowd’s chance for prolonged applause was drowned out by loud music until the next faceoff. … Willie O’Ree, 82, was honored in a ceremonial puck drop before the game, commemorating the 60th anniversary that he became the first black player to play in an NHL game. He was with Boston and played at Montreal. … Boston D Kevan Miller was out sick and Adam McQuaid took his spot, returning after missing 36 games with a broken leg. McQuaid had been healthy for a few weeks, but unable to crack the lineup. … It was the 740th regular season meeting between the rivals.
Canadiens: At the Washington Capitals on Friday.
Bruins: At the New York Islanders on Thursday.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.