BOSTON -- Mike Cammalleri solved Tim Thomas in the shootout and Carey Price made 42 saves to win for the first time in more than a month as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 Thursday night at TD Garden.
"It feels good to finally come in the locker room with a win," said Price, whose last win was on Oct. 3 over the Sabres. "It felt like a long time, it feels like it's been a year since I won."
Patrice Bergeron forced overtime and kept the Bruins from being shut out in three consecutive games for the first time in 80 years when he scored with 52 seconds remaining. With Thomas on the bench for an extra attacker, Bergeron picked up a loose puck in front after Zdeno Chara was stopped and shoveled it into the net.
"It's one step forward to get that goal and to get that point," Bergeron said. "We need to get two points, we need to win games, we have to take it upon ourselves and do it."
Price responded with a big glove save on Bergeron during overtime, forcing the teams into a shootout.
"I really needed to keep my focus because I knew I hadn't won in six games and it wasn't the time to get upset,” Price said. "I had to refocus in a hurry because if I let it slip, I lose another game, so I had to keep focus."
Cammalleri beat Thomas on the Canadiens' first attempt. Bergeron missed the net and Price stopped Blake Wheeler and Mark Recchi for the win.
The win ended Montreal's nine-game losing streak against the Bruins, including a four-game sweep in the first round of the playoffs last spring.
Boston is 0-2-1 in its last three games despite allowing just four non-shootout goals. Thomas, who's been in net for all three games, finished with 25 saves.
"Well my role is always the same and that’s the way I’m trying to approach it. I’m personally not thinking about the team not scoring because that’s not my job," said Thomas, who has now lost his last four starts. "I’m just trying to do my job and know it will come and not get in their way. I can’t teach them how to score. They know how to score. They just need to stop thinking, so I’m not going to overthink it for them."
A tip-in by former Bruin Glen Metropolit got the Canadiens on the board with 2:28 left in the first period, after a stretch of back-and-forth hockey. Andrei Kostitsyn, who has struggled this season, went in on a breakaway after two Bruins collided and wrapped the puck around the net to where Metropolit was waiting to hammer it past Thomas. Ryan White, making his NHL debut, picked up the second assist for his first career point.
"It was fun to get a goal for us early," Metropolit said. “The hockey gods owed me one. It was a good goal for us to get us up 1-0."
While the Bruins outshot the Canadiens 9-6 in the first period, Boston had just a couple of scoring chances, as Montreal kept the puck in the Boston end. Price was tested severely just once prior to the Habs' goal but denied Michael Ryder.
"Our guys did a really good job of boxing people out and giving me a clear view of the puck,” Price said about the Habs' defense, which redeemed itself with a solid effort against Boston after its opponents scored nine goals in the previous two games.
The Bruins owned the second period, firing 17 shots on goal, but they couldn't get a puck past Price. Their biggest opportunity came with less than three minutes remaining when Bergeron slipped the puck past Price. While the referee signaled a goal, it was waived off after video replay showed the net had been lifted off the ice.
"Well obviously they looked at in Toronto and felt that the net was off so it was a no-goal situation. But that is why you can't let yourself down," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “You have to keep plugging away and find a way to get that goal and we did at the end."
Price and the Canadiens also successfully killed off a two-man advantage that lasted 49 seconds.
Montreal now has seven overtime and shootout wins with no losses in games that go beyond the regulation 60 minutes.
"I guess we like to make it interesting," explained Price. "But I'd like to win a game in regulation … we have to put it behind us and focus on the next game. It's a cliché, but it's true."