MONTREAL - Blake Wheeler scored while Tim Thomas stopped all three shots in the shootout as the streaking Boston Bruins earned a 3-2 victory Saturday night to spoil Patrick Roy night for the Montreal Canadiens and a sellout crowd of 21,273 at the Bell Centre.
Milan Lucic - who won a fight with Mike Komisarek on Nov. 13 that left the Canadiens defenceman with a suspected shoulder injury that will cost him at least another month - was a target of the crowd and Habs enforcer Georges Laraque all night.
But rather than fight the Canadiens tough guy, he scored his sixth goal of the season while Matt Hunwick added another as the Bruins (14-3-4) reeled off their fourth straight win and ninth in their last 10 games (9-0-1).
It was the Bruins second straight win over the Canadiens after a 6-1 pounding in Boston on Nov. 13 ended a run of 12 straight regular season losses against their Original Six rivals.
Andrei Kostitsyn and Tom Kostopoulos scored for the Canadiens (11-5-3), who have lost six of their last nine games.
Wheeler scored as the first shooter of the shootout when he appeared to lose the puck while trying to deke Carey Price and it slid in.
Thomas then stopped Alex Kovalev, Andrei Markov and Saku Koivu to seal the victory.
On a night the Canadiens honoured Roy by retiring his No. 33 jersey, both Thomas and Price were excellent in goal.
Thomas stopped 33 shots including 17 in the third as Boston was outshot 18-5 while Price made 25 saves for Montreal.
The Canadiens power play - tops in the league the past two seasons - went 0-for-4, and has now scored only twice in its last 31 chances.
Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau put Laraque on the ice against Lucic four times in the first period, and Laraque followed him around the entire shift trying to goad him into a fight, but Lucic would not bite.
His goal in the second was one of the few times up to that point in the game he was not on the ice with Laraque.
With the game tied 1-1 in the third, Kovalev had a great chance to put Montreal ahead early in the period when he was sent in alone on Thomas by Tomas Plekanec, but he lost the puck as he deked to his backhand.
Kovalev then saw a deflection and a rebound stopped by Thomas, and as the Bruins brought the puck up ice David Krejci found Hunwick for a one-timer in the slot at 9:41 for the defenceman's second of the year and a 2-1 Boston lead.
But Kostopoulos evened things up with only 3:05 to play in regulation when he tipped a Patrice Brisebois point shot just under the crossbar for his second goal of the season.
While the subplot involving Laraque and Lucic dominated a scoreless first, the Canadiens grabbed the lead early in the second.
Markov made a great play to keep the puck in the Boston zone and the puck eventually made it to Josh Gorges at the point, whose shot was blocked in front but buried by Kostitsyn at 1:31 for his third of the year.
Lucic tied it at 11:11 when Kessel danced around Ryan O'Byrne and fed him alone in front for his sixth of the season.
The Bruins appeared to have a go-ahead goal at 18:07 of the second when Petteri Nokelainen put one in off a scramble, but referee Rob Martell waved it off because he ruled that Kessel fed him with a hand pass.
Notes: Canadiens defenceman Roman Hamrlik left the game late in the third period after taking a puck near the face and did not return. ... Komisarek missed his fifth game since suffering the injury. ... Habs winger Guillaume Latendresse, who missed practice Friday with an undisclosed ailment, did not dress, while Mathieu Dandenault was a healthy scratch. ... Bruins winger Marco Sturm missed his third game with an upper body injury, while recent call-up Matt Lashoff was a healthy scratch.