MONTREAL - Michael Ryder's power-play goal 57 seconds into the second period lifted the Montreal Canadiens to a 2-1 victory over the Boston Bruins in a battle for top spot in the NHL's Northeast Division on Saturday night.
Alex Galchenyuk also scored for Montreal (25-8-5), which had three wins and a loss in four meetings with the Bruins this season. The Canadiens lead the division by three points, with Boston holding a game in hand.
Daniel Paille scored for Boston (24-9-4), which ended a three-game winning streak.
The Canadiens were down one defenceman from the 10:54 mark when Alexei Emelin suffered what looked to be a left knee injury in a thunderous collision while taking a run at hulking Bruins winger Milan Lucic.
They had a one-goal lead at the time through Galchenyk, who scored for a second game in a row by slipping the puck into traffic in the crease and seeing Matt Batkowski backheel it into his own net at 6:49.
The teams exchanged goals in the second.
A needless cross-checking penalty by Lucic put Montreal on the power play to start the period and Ryder deflected a P.K. Subban wrist shot into the top corner only 57 second sin. It was Ryder's sixth goal in the last six games.
Shots were 29-27 in Montreal's favour.
The Bruins had a chance on a power play in the final minute and pulled Rask for an extra attacker, but still couldn't get a shot on the Canadiens' net.
Notes: Tomas Plekanec returned after missing one game with a suspected groin problem, bumping Michael Blundin from the lineup. Gabriel Dumont, Tomas Kaberle and Yannick Weber were scratched. . .newly acquired Wade Redden didn't dress and has yet to make his Bruins debut. Jordan Caron and Aaron Johnson were healthy scratches. . . Boston's Patrice Bergeron, who had seven points in three games against Montreal, missed a second game with a concussion.