Montreal, QUE - Patrice Bergeron
and the Bruins finally solved Cristobal Huet, ending the 30-year-old netminder's shutout string against them, but the Montreal Canadiens still skated to a 5-3 decision on Tuesday night. Patrice Bergeron
scored two goals and added an assist in the fourth straight loss for the Bruins. Tim Thomas
finished the game with 42 saves in net for the B's. The win was Montreal's season-high seventh consecutive and puts them in a tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference with New Jersey at 87 points apiece.
Entering the game, Huet carried a 3-1 record against the Bruins with a 0.50 goals-against average. Huet had kept the Bruins off the scoreboard for 237 minutes and 39 seconds until Bergeron broke the streak 19 seconds into the second period. The streak spanned three games where the French goaltender posted shutouts in all three games. Huet was named the NHL's Defensive Player of the Week for the period ending Sunday, April 2.
The Bruins opened the scoring on the power play, their first of two on the night. Brad Boyes followed his rebound and threw it in front of the net, where Bergeron swiped it home to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
"We knew in order to score some goals we would have to get to the net and get some rebounds," said Bergeron, who leads the team with 68 points. "We didn't do that in the first, but we were able to do that in the second period and it gave us some results."
Jan Bulis knotted the game at one apiece for the Canadiens at 2:22 of the second period. Mike Ribeiro slid the puck across the crease where Bulis had an empty net to shoot the puck into, as Thomas committed to Ribeiro at the right side of the goal.
At 13:29 of the second, Michael Ryder banged in a rebound on the power play to put Montreal ahead by a score of 2-1.
Bergeron pulled the Bruins back even at 2-2 with his second goal of the night just over a minute later. On the power play, Bergeron banked it off a Habs defenseman and into the back of the goal for No. 28 of the year. Brad Stuart picked up his 30th assist of the season, a new career high.
"I had no angle, so I just tried to put it at the net and make something happen," added Bergeron.
Marco Sturm potted his 28th goal of the season 34 seconds into the third period on a wrist shot and gave the Bruins their second lead of the game, a 3-2 advantage.
The Bruins squandered the lead though when Saku Koivu scored Montreal's third power play goal of the game. Koivu carried the puck to the front of the net uncontested and flipped it over Thomas' glove hand to knot the game at 3-3 at 3:48 of the final period.
The Habs took their second lead, one they wouldn't relinquish, with just over five minutes to play in the game. Ryder fed Chris Higgins in front for the tally to put Montreal up 4-3.
Aaron Downey added an insurance goal 59 seconds later to seal the 5-3 Canadiens' victory.
The Bruins will head home to host the Toronto Maple Leafs at the TD Banknorth Garden on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. The game is the final meeting of the season between the two teams.