After Montreal's morning skate Monday, forward Dale Weise said he and his teammates were rooting for archrival Boston to come from behind and beat the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday so that the Bruins' winning streak would still be alive when the teams met Monday night at TD Garden.
Alex Galchenyuk scored in the fourth round of the shootout and surprise starting goalie Peter Budaj followed up his 28-save performance with four stops in the tiebreaker to help the Canadiens end the Bruins' win streak at 12 games with a 2-1 victory.
"It's not about ending the streak. What they accomplished I got a lot of respect for, and honestly the way I see things, it's more about getting those two points and trying to qualify for the playoffs," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said.
Patrice Bergeron tied the game with a third-period power-play goal to get the game to extra time and earn the Bruins a point in the standings. Boston was seeking its first 13-game winning streak since Feb. 23-March 20, 1971.
The Canadiens (40-26-7) beat the Bruins (49-17-6) for the third time this season and fifth in the past six games dating to last season. Budaj snapped a personal four-game losing streak, during which he had allowed 13 goals.
"He's a great goalie," Montreal captain Brian Gionta said. "We are very confident with him back there, and it shows tonight. That first period he made some huge saves and even in the second he made some big saves where they could have been back in the game real quick. He won us that game for sure."
Down 1-0 to start the third period, the Bruins drew four power plays in the first 12:36 and cashed in on the fourth opportunity to even the score. Dougie Hamilton's wrist shot from the blue line tipped off Bergeron's stick between the hash marks and eluded Budaj at 14:34.
The Bruins, however, weren't disheartened that they couldn't get a second goal to keep their winning streak going.
"Too bad it ended, but that's not really a goal to go on a long streak like that," Bruins forward Brad Marchand said. "It's play our best hockey and play the way we need to every night. And I think it just shows that when we do that, we're going to give ourselves an opportunity to win every night. If we continue that, we're going to win a lot more games, and that's what we need going into the playoffs."
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask finished with 21 saves on 22 shots. Galchenyuk beat him to the stick side to improve to 1-for-6 in the shootout this season.
"I mean, I was excited, and all the moves were playing in my head because I was 0-for-6 or something like that," Galchenyuk said. "So you try and do something new and it didn't work; you try and do something old and it didn't work. So you're like, 'What the hell are you going to do now?' Fortunately, my move worked."
The Bruins outshot the Canadiens 10-5 in the first period, but the Canadiens scored the only goal. During Montreal's second power play of the period, Alexei Emelin took a wrist shot from the blue line between the circles. The puck deflected off Bruins center Chris Kelly's stick out high and beat Rask to the glove side for a 1-0 lead at 6:39.
The Canadiens lost Weise to an injury after he was pushed into boards by Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller at 4:50 of the first period. Montreal forward Travis Moen was injured in a subsequent fight with Miller. The Canadiens made due with 10 forwards the rest of the game.
"For sure, those guys get us going. They are such team guys, and it's unfortunate to see them exit the game like that," Galchenyuk said. "But we certainly won this game for them."
The second period was more about physicality than offense. The Canadiens preserved their 1-0 lead, but they failed to capitalize on several opportunities to extend their advantage, including 44 seconds of 5-on-3 time late in the period. Montreal was 0-for-4 on the power play in the period.
It was Montreal's work on the penalty kill that earned their coach's praise.
"We played for two points tonight, and I believe our guys did a fantastic job killing penalties. We gave them four power plays in the third period and only allowed six shots on net," Therrien said. "The guys on the penalty killing did a great job, especially after we lost two forwards early in the game. We only had 10 forwards available in the game, against the hottest team in the League."
Each team was 1-for-6 on the power play.
"I think there were just a lot of blocked shots. Their D-men were stepping out for everything," said Hamilton, who runs the point on one of Boston's power-play units. "We had some chances and obviously their goalie was really good too. So it's, I guess, not normal for us to have that many power plays, [and that] was kind of weird. But I thought we did OK. I think we struggled a little bit to break the puck in at times too."
Boston will host the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday in a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Montreal will host the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday.
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