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Byron, Gallagher give Canadiens 3-0 lead

by Dan Rosen

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The Montreal Canadiens built their lead on the Boston Bruins to 3-0 after 40 minutes on second-period goals by forwards Paul Byron and Brendan Gallagher.

Gallagher, who returned to play in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic after missing the previous 17 games with a hand injury, scored his 10th goal of the season at 17:20 to put Montreal up 3-0.

Gallagher knocked the puck in from the slot after forward Max Pacioretty batted the puck out of the air to Gallagher. Pacioretty started the play by holding the puck in the zone at the point. He got it low to Tomas Plekanec, who threaded a cross-ice pass to Pacioretty to set up the goal.

Byron gave the Canadiens a 2-0 lead with his sixth goal of the season at 2:00. It was also a goal scored because of deft hand-eye coordination, this time on the part of Montreal forward Brian Flynn, who left the puck for Byron in the slot with a perfect tip of defenseman Mark Barberio's backhanded pass off the right-wing half wall.

Flynn reached out with his stick to knock the puck slightly past Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid, setting Byron up for an easy goal from the slot.

Boston goalie Tuukka Rask kept the deficit at two goals with a sliding elbow save on Montreal forward Dale Weise's shot below the left circle at 2:39. Montreal had a chance to build on the lead 12 seconds later, when Kevin Miller was called for cross checking Weise in the slot.

The Canadiens couldn't convert on the power play, falling to 0-for-3 in the game.

Boston got its first power play at 6:43. It got the puck into the net at 8:20, but the goal was immediately waved off by referee Kevin Pollack because Bruins forward Jimmy Hayes made contact with Montreal goalie Mike Condon as Matt Beleskey pushed the puck into the net.

The Bruins had a third power play at 19:30 on a delay of game penalty by Plekanec. Montreal goalie Mike Condon preserved the 3-0 lead when he flashed his leather and robbed Bruins center Ryan Spooner of a goal with a sprawling glove save with .01 seconds remaining on the clock.

Boston was 0-for-3 on the power play in the period, but it still has 1:31 remaining on Plekanec's minor. The Bruins entered the game with the No. 1-ranked power play in the NHL at 29.4 percent.

Weise did not play in the final 14:51 of the period after going to the dressing room following a shift that ended at 5:09. The Canadiens announce he will miss remainder of the game.

The Canadiens had a 1-0 lead after the first period on a goal by David Desharnais at 1:14.

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