MONTREAL - Being "demoted" to the third line this season must seem like a blessing for Montreal Canadiens centre David Desharnais.
The diminutive Desharnais scored on a power play with 1:08 left in the game to lift Montreal to a comeback 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.
The goal gave Desharnais seven points in the last five games and 14 for the season, tying him for second of the team.
Few expected that production after Desharnais was dropped from the top line with Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher to the third unit with plugger Dale Weise and veteran Tomas Fleischmann.
"I don't know what to say, everybody's getting rewarded and I'm one of them," said Desharnais. "No matter what happened this season, I was going to keep a good attitude.
"I'm just trying to have some fun out there."
It may help that he is not going up against top checking lines and first defence pairs as much as in the past, and it has also helped that Weise, with eight goals this season, has been on fire.
The entire Canadiens squad has been hot, with a 13-2-1 start to the campaign.
Tomas Plekanec, Lars Eller and Pacioretty, with an empty-net goal, also scored for the Montreal.
Loui Eriksson and Frank Vatrano, with a goal in his first NHL game, scored for Boston (6-6-1). The Bruins are 1-9-2 in their last 11 games against rival Montreal, losing the last six in a row.
Bruins veteran David Krejci was off for cross-checking after a needless run-in with Plekanec at the players benches when Desharnais scored on an Alex Galchenyuk rebound.
"The guys did a good job playing hard and then you do something stupid and you let everyone down," said Krejci. "It's not a very good feeling.
"It was a stupid penalty and now I have to live with that."
The Bruins are back in action Sunday when they visit the New York Islanders.
Montreal defenceman Nathan Beaulieu got a match penalty and game misconduct with 17 seconds left for a cross-check on Boston's Zac Rinaldo. Rinaldo was skating in for a bodycheck when Beaulieu lifted his stick and appeared to get him in the neck or the head.
A match penalty calls for a one-game suspension, but the NHL can reverse the call. That's what Montreal coach Michel Therrien wants.
"We know the type of player Rinaldo is," said Therrien. "From the bench, it looked like (Beaulieu) was trying to protect himself.
"When you see a guy coming with less than 30 seconds left your first instinct is to protect yourself, so I don't expect any suspension."
Montreal outshot Boston 33-31 and Canadiens rookie goalie Mike Condon, playing in place of injured Carey Price, improved to 6-0-1.
The Bruins arrived with the NHL's best power play, scoring on 35 per cent of attempts, and capitalized on their first opportunity when Eriksson tipped in a Patrice Bergeron pass at the side of the net only 1:50 into the game. It was the first goal allowed at home by Montreal's penalty killers in 24 attempts this season.
Montreal tied it with the man advantage 1:09 into the second frame when Plekanec was left alone in front to pick the top corner on Jonas Gustavsson.
Vatrano, who led the AHL with 10 goals in 10 games for the Providence Bruins, saw a shot from the high slot go through a screen in front of the net and past Condon at 8:51.
The Canadiens had a Plekanec goal disallowed for goalie interference but then got the equalizer 8:58 into the third when Eller poked Galchenyuk's rebound between Gustavsson's pads.