BOSTON (AP) -- For two periods, the Bruins played like the team
Montreal bounced from the playoffs last season. Luckily for Boston,
the team that has dominated the Eastern Conference this season
showed up just in time.
Michal Grosek broke a tie with his first goal of the season,
lifting Boston past the Montreal Canadiens 4-2 on Friday. It was the
first game between the teams since the Canadiens stunned the
top-seeded Bruins in the first round of the playoffs.
Much like in its six-game wipeout last spring, Boston outshot
Montreal by a considerable margin. But Friday, the Bruins
capitalized on their opportunities, and by doing so extended their
home winning streak to eight games, their longest since 1983.
The Bruins are 7-2 in games decided by two goals or fewer,
including a 5-1 mark in one-goal games.
"The difference this season is we're winning the close games,''
Mike Knuble said. "As a group we always believe we can win.''
That goal came just 1½ minutes after Montreal's Richard Zednik
made it 2-2 with his second score of the game and 12th of the
Then, with just over three minutes left, Joe Thornton added an
unassisted goal. Thornton beat a pair of Canadiens defenders and
deked Theodore with a backhander for his 11th goal.
The Bruins outshot Montreal 42-26 overall, including 15-4 in the
"We knew (Theodore) was good coming in, so we just kept
shooting. Hopefully some would go in, and they did,'' said
Jozef Stumpel gave Boston a 2-1 lead on a back-handed wrist shot
earlier in the third period.
Glen Murray put Boston ahead 1-0 when Knuble fed him in front of
the net, and he beat Theodore through the pads. Murray has a goal
in four straight games.
Shields stopped 26 shots for the Bruins.
Boston, which lost Bill Guerin to Dallas in the offseason and
has been without Sergei Samsonov for the last 18 games because of a
wrist injury, has been an unexpected offensive juggernaut this
season. The Bruins lead the Eastern Conference with 79 goals
scored, an average of 3.6 per game.
"It's a tough team to play against. They play well, they play
with a lot of confidence and they work very hard,'' said Canadiens
coach Michel Therrien. "They deserve all the credit for being in
the position they're in.''
Theodore, the 2001-02 league MVP, fell to 5-7-2. ...
The Bruins are 8-1-1-0 in their last 10 games, and have outscored
opponents 41-16 during that stretch. ... It was Boston's second
sellout of the season. The other came in the opener against Ottawa.
... Martin Lapointe returned to the lineup for Boston after missing
17 games with a hamstring injury and a broken foot.