MONTREAL - Carl Soderberg, Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic scored in the second period as the Boston Bruins cruised to their sixth straight NHL victory with a 4-1 win over the rival Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.
Zdeno Chara also scored for Boston (43-17-5), which is 9-1-2 in its last dozen games and extended its run without a regulation loss on the road to 11 games. With 91 points, the Bruins moved to withing one point of idle Pittsburgh for the Eastern Conference lead.
David Desharnais replied for Montreal (35-25-7), which has lost three in a row and is 3-4-1 without injured No. 1 goalie Carey Price since the Olympic break.
The Canadiens ended a five-game winning run against Boston dating to last season.
Montreal outshot Boston 36-30.
As dominant as the Bruins have been, they often struggle against the Canadiens and it showed in the first period as Montreal held a 13-6 shot advantage and saw Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk stopped by Tuukka Rask on breakaways.
The Bruins turned that around by jumping on every Montreal mistake for a goal in the second frame, while Rask continued to shut the door.
Only 1:33 in, rookie Jarred Tinordi misplayed a puck off a faceoff and Soderberg was alone in front to score.
Boston went on a counterattack after Andrei Markov fell and Bergeron finished off a give-and-go with Brad Marchand at 9:25.
Lucic bumped Alexei Emelin off the puck and then trailed in on a rush to score on a routine shot that got between Peter Budaj's pads for his 20th of the season at 18:32.
Chara got another only 23 seconds into the third when he broke in from the point and put in his own rebound.
Montreal finally got one as Desharnais found the puck in a scramble with newcomer Thomas Vanek tying up traffic in the crease.
It was Vanek's first point in three games since he was acquired in a NHL trade deadline deal last week. And it was Montreal's first goal in seven periods since a 3-1 loss in Phoenix last Thursday.
Notes: Galchenyuk played his 100th NHL game... Francis Bouillon was back in the Montreal lineup for the first time since Feb. 8, bumping Mike Weaver. Brandon Prust returned after missing seven games with an upper body injury. . . George Parros, Dale Weise and Rene Bourque were scratched. . . Boston sat Dougie Hamilton for a second game to make room for newcomer Andrej Mezsaros. Daniel Paille (concussion), Adam McQuaid (leg) and Dennis Seidenberg (torn ACL-MCL) are sidelined.