By John Bishop, BostonBruins.comMontreal, Quebec
– The Bruins continued their winning ways on Wednesday night by defeating the home standing Montreal Canadiens, 3 -1, on the back of some outstanding goaltending by starter Hannu Toivonen, who allowed just one goal on 25 shots before being relieved by Brian Finley at the start of the third period.
B's Defensemen Zdeno Chara
opened the scoring for Boston at 8:26 of the first period, taking advantage of a penalty to Montreal's Mathieu Carle. It was the second goal in two evenings for the new Bruins back liner who was assisted by Nathan Dempsey and Marc Savard
Bruins rookie forward Jeff Hoggan (assisted by Nate Thompson) added another for the Bruins with just 39 seconds remaining in the first period.
The Canadiens fought back in the second period as Mike Johnson brought the home fans to their feet by finally beating Toivonen off a feed by Thomas Plekanec at 16:45.
The final stanza featured some more outstanding goaltending, this time by former Brown University star, Yann Danis, who kept the Canadiens close despite several Boston scoring chances.
Danis stopped 13 of 13 Bruin shots after relieving Hab's starter David Aebischer halfway into the second stanza.
Boston's Finley had to be sharp as well, as the B's found their way into the penalty box 5 times. Finley was tested nine times and made nine saves, preserving the win for Boston.
With Danis pulled for an extra attacker, Boston's Brad Boyes closed the scoring with an open net goal, assisted by Patrice Bergeron
and Marco Sturm, at 19:58.
A minor scare went through Bruins nation, as Chara did not return to action in the second, after blocking a shot in the first period.
Following the game, however, Bruins Head Coach Dave Lewis indicated that Chara had asked to play the second period, but the training staff thought it best to ice the area immediately.
Lewis let Boston fans breath a little easier when he said that Chara will have a precautionary x-ray tomorrow, but was walking fine after the game.
Three Stars as chosen by the Montreal Media:
3rd Star, Marc Savard
2nd Star, Thomas Plekanec
1st Star, Alex Kovalev