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Bruins Battle in Montreal, But Win Streak Snapped

Boston has go-ahead goal overturned, falls to Habs 5-4 in Chara's 1,500th

by Eric Russo @erusso22 /

MONTREAL - The Bruins have not lost often so far this season, but when they have it sure has been via the frustrating variety. Boston suffered its second regulation loss on Tuesday night, a 5-4 setback to the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre, which snapped its six-game win streak and 10-game point streak.

And the defeat was not without its share of controversy. As they did in Colorado during the season's opening road trip - their only other regulation loss - the Bruins had a goal wiped off the board because of a coach's challenge. (For those keeping score, that's two regulation losses by a combined three goals, with three goals negated.)

Against the Avalanche, it was one each for offside and one goalie interference - and in Tuesday's loss to Montreal, it was another offside review that did in the Black & Gold.

Video: BOS Recap: Pastrnak extends point streak in 5-4 loss

Just moments after Sean Kuraly had tied the game, 4-4, with his first goal of the season at 3:03 of the third period, Boston appeared to take its first lead of the night thanks to some strong work from the Charlie Coyle line.

Coyle carried the puck into the zone (more on that in a minute) and worked it down low with linemates Anders Bjork and Zach Senyshyn, who was recalled from Providence before the game. Senyshyn eventually picked up a loose below the goal line and fed Coyle out front for what looked like the go-ahead tally.

But Montreal coach Claude Julien opted to challenge, and after a lengthy review it was determined that the puck - by a millimeter - had crossed the Habs' blue line just before Coyle's right skate.

"Some are gonna go your way, some aren't - ours are not going our way lately, but I assume they will straighten out over the course of time," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy, whose team battled back from deficits of 3-1 and 4-3 to tie the game. "But the rule was put in place specifically for egregious plays. They're over there for three minutes. You think, well, what is the purpose of this rule? Either you find something or you don't.

"Three minutes, so now you're looking for something. You know it's gonna go the other way and it did. That's where my beef comes from. You always want to get it right, but there was a change this summer to punish the coaches for this reason. They didn't want three-minute reviews. Any way, it was a big part of the game. Didn't go our way."

Montreal responded a few moments later with the eventual winner, when Ben Chiarot beat Tuukka Rask with a wrister off the netminder's glove to make it 5-4 with 10:54 remaining.

"For me it was [a tough night]," said Rask, who stopped 26 of 31 shots and saw his season-opening point streak end at eight games (7-1-1). "It was one of those nights it felt like it was a golf ball, not a hockey puck. Wasn't tracking it well. Tough night for me, but I thought we battled well. Could've easily won the game."

Video: Cassidy Addresses Media After a Close 5-4 Loss to MTL

Coyle Line Shines

Despite having Coyle's goal wiped away, the trio was by far Boston's best against the Habs, a performance highlighted by the play of Anders Bjork, who was plus-3 and landed a team-high six shots on goal, including his second goal of the season to tie things at 3 with 1:47 remaining in the second.

"We had some good looks. We were very simple," said Coyle, who was plus-2 with four hits in 13:42. "We put the puck in and went to work and tried to establish our forecheck and just win puck battles and get to the net. It paid off for us a few times."

Senyshyn, who made a terrific pass to set up Coyle on the disallowed goal, was playing in his first game with Boston this season after suiting up for two with the big club last April. The winger was plus-1 with a shot on goal in 10:49 of ice time.

"Obviously, you want to get the two points, you want to help the team win," said Senyshyn, who replaced fellow call-up Cameron Hughes in the lineup. "But I felt really good out there. It's pretty easy to play with a guy like Charlie Coyle and obviously Anders Bjork, who really pushes the play. It was a lot of fun out there, but not the outcome we wanted."

Video: BOS@MTL: Bjork sweeps home loose puck for equalizer

Cheers for Chara 

Zdeno Chara has had his share of battles at Bell Centre over the years, many of which have included boos each time he touches the puck. But on Tuesday night, those boos dissipated - just for a bit - when Chara's 1,500th NHL game was recognized during a TV timeout in the first period. As he was shown on the videoboard, Chara rose and waved to a cheering Canadiens crowd to show his appreciation for the ovation.

"Obviously that felt really nice. I really appreciate that; it was really classy. It's something that I will definitely remember," said Chara, who became just the 21st player and sixth defenseman in NHL history to play 1,500 games. "It just shows that they are very passionate fans, they support their team…We had some battles. It's a good rivalry, a lot of history with both teams. It's always fun to play these games."

Video: BOS@MTL: Chara celebrated in 1,500th career NHL game

Cliffy Hockey on the Board

Kuraly wasn't the only Bruin to chip in with his first goal of the season. Connor Clifton picked up the first regular-season tally of his career - he notched his first NHL goal during the Eastern Conference Final last May - with a nifty dangle and snipe to pull the Bruins within a goal, 3-2, at 7:17 of the second.

Two games removed from sitting as a healthy scratch, Clifton - and Cassidy - felt that it was one of his better performances of the season.

"I think this was my best game so far, not even the goal, just everywhere else," said Clifton, who landed five hits in 17:47. "With the puck, without the puck, I was making good plays, my feet were going. Felt pretty good."

Video: BOS@MTL: Clifton creates space, scores off the post

There He Goes Again

David Pastrnak notched his 15th goal in 15 games when he launched yet another one-timer from the circle off a feed from Torey Krug on the power play. The marker, which tied the game, 1-1 with 5:05 left in the first, extended his career-high point streak to 13 games.

Per NHL Stats, Pastrnak is the first Bruins player since Peter McNab in 1976-77 to score 15 goals in the team's first 15 games. The tally also gave him 30 points on the season, making him the third player in franchise history to reach that mark in 15 or fewer games, joining Phil Esposito (13 games in 1973-74) and Bobby Orr (14 games in 1974-75).

Brad Marchand was held off the board, ending his career-best point streak at 13 games and career-high assist streak at 12.

Video: BOS@MTL: Pastrnak knots the score with one-time PPG

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