MONTREAL -- Tyler Seguin certainly made his coach look pretty good Wednesday night.
Boston's Claude Julien moved Seguin to the wing on a line with David Krejci and Milan Lucic in the second intermission. Seguin then scored the tying goal and helped set up Krejci's winner on his first two shifts of the third period to lead the Bruins to a 2-1 victory against the Montreal Canadiens in the first of four meetings this season between the bitter Northeast Division rivals.
"The coaches said they wanted to give a little spark and see what happens," Seguin said. "Obviously with the first two shifts we were able to pop in two goals, so it worked out."
It was Seguin's second goal of the season -- the first on which he beat a goaltender, with his other goal coming into an empty net Jan. 28 against the Carolina Hurricanes. He had a goal called back and had another shot hit the knob of goaltender James Reimer's stick in a 1-0 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.
But Seguin's production had largely been lacking until he was placed on that wing with Krejci and Lucic, swapping spots with Nathan Horton who moved to a line with Patrice Bergeron and Gregory Campbell.
"We needed to create more scoring chances because I didn't think we had enough in the first two periods," Julien said. "We tweaked the lines a little bit and the guys responded well."
Tuukka Rask was tremendous in goal for the Bruins (7-1-1), particularly during a first period when his team was outshot 11-4 and he was forced into a number of key saves to get Boston to intermission in a scoreless tie. Rask finished with 21 saves and allowed one goal or fewer for the fifth time in eight starts this season.
"Part of our game plan was that we needed to come out of the first either tied or ahead," Julien said. "We were tied, but Tuukka was the big reason why we were tied."
P.K. Subban scored his first goal of the season and Carey Price made 20 saves for the Canadiens (6-3-0), who saw their five-game home winning streak end. It was the first loss for Price since opening night, snapping a six-start run of wins.
Canadiens captain Brian Gionta took no solace in the fact his team was able to compete with an elite team like the Bruins, because he feels his club belongs in the same category.
"We're not going to be outclassed by any team. We've got a good team," Gionta said defiantly. "We're confident no matter who we play against, we just didn't play our best tonight."
Down 1-0 and having generated little in terms of scoring chances through the first two periods, the Bruins capitalized with two quick strikes to take the lead early in the third. Seguin lost Alexei Emelin on his way to the front of the net and Krejci saucered a pass to him from out of the corner for an easy tap in just 14 seconds after the opening faceoff.
"It feels like it's been a while," Seguin said. "I definitely felt snake-bitten, but I'm glad one went in there in the third and we pulled two points off."
Seguin was at the root of the go-ahead goal on his next shift, entering the Canadiens' zone with tremendous speed to back up the defense before feeding Lucic on the wing and driving the net hard. That created a lane for Lucic to feed Krejci cutting to the far post, and he had a tap-in at 2:05 for a 2-1 Bruins lead.
It was the first time the Canadiens lost in the six games this season in which they led after two periods.
"You have to try to bury a team, especially when you have a lead like that," Gionta said. "But we just didn't play an overall good enough game to win that game."
The Canadiens dominated the first period, and the Bruins were unable to generate a shot on goal until 11:24 after the opening faceoff. By that point, Colby Armstrong had just missed tipping one inside the far post, Tomas Plekanec nearly stuffed one inside the near post, Rene Bourque was denied by Rask from in tight, Alex Galchenyuk's deflection was stopped by Rask's skate, and Lars Eller had been stopped on a breakaway.
"We missed chances all game," Gionta said. "We had chances all over the place."
The game remained scoreless entering the second, when the Bruins finally appeared to find their legs. This time, it was Montreal that was unable to muster a shot on goal midway through the period, though Plekanec really should have managed at least that instead of having the puck roll off his stick into a corner when he went in alone on Rask.
By the time the Canadiens got their first shot of the period, 10:38 had passed. They scored on their next one when Subban's shot from the point was tipped by Boston's Rich Peverley and over Rask's glove for the defenseman's first of the season at 10:53.
|Back to top|