Series (Game 3 of 5)

Montreal leads 3-2

Game 1: Friday, November 29th
Game 2: Tuesday, December 10th
Game 3: Saturday, December 14th
Game 4: Thursday, February 6th
Game 5: Tuesday, February 11th

Bruins 2

(19-7-1, 42 pts)

Canadiens 4

(13-11-2, 32 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 14, 2002

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 T
BOS 1 0 12
MTL 2 2 04

A. Markov (Canadiens - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

S. Koivu (Canadiens - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

J. Theodore (Canadiens - G): Saves: 25, Save Pct.: .926

Four different players score in Canadiens' win

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins keep fanning the flames on one of the NHL's most-enduring rivalries.

Richard Zednik

Richard Zednik, Chad Kilger, Craig Rivet and Yanic Perreault scored and Jose Theodore made 25 saves to lead Montreal to an emotional 4-2 win over Boston on Saturday night.

"It felt like a playoff tonight,'' Zednik said after the Canadiens -- who eliminated Boston in a first-round upset last spring -- beat the Bruins for the second time in five days.

Boston, which got goals from Ivan Huml and Marty McInnis, extended its season-high losing streak to three.

"We know that we have a big test every night when we play Boston because they're full of firepower and you have to be ready for them,'' Rivet said. "We played to our game plan and came out with a huge victory.''

The Bruins hadn't lost consecutive games until they fell 4-2 to Montreal on Tuesday, and 5-2 to Ottawa two nights later.

"It seems like we're pressing a little too much right now,'' Boston center Brian Rolston said. "We're trying to make plays and they're turning them into scoring opportunities.''

A soldout crowd of 21,273 booed Bruins captain Joe Thornton repeatedly.

Thornton was fined by the NHL -- though not suspended -- for spearing Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov on Tuesday. He drew the crowd's wrath when he took a swing at Montreal captain Saku Koivu after drawing a pair of minor penalties on the same play late in the second.

"I really don't know what happened,'' Koivu said. "He gave me a cross check in front of the net and the puck went in the corner, and I went to hit him and he came after me. I don't know why he got frustrated.''

Thornton didn't speak to reporters following the game.

Theodore made his first start since allowing all seven goals in the Canadiens' 7-6 loss in Colorado on Dec. 6.

"He really played well,'' Koivu said. "He was calm, he was confident and he made some key saves.''

Montreal, which converted one of six power plays in the second, won for the third time in four games.

"It just seemed that we were on the puck all night,'' Koivu said.

Canadiens enforcer Sylvain Blouin drew a penalty just 15 seconds in and Huml scored at 2:19 -- four seconds after the penalty expired -- to put the Bruins up 1-0.

Zednik scored his 14th goal at 5:47 to tie the game, and assisted on Kilger's go-ahead goal later in the first period.

Rivet made it 3-1 when he scored his third of the season 4:41 into the second, just four seconds after the Bruins' first of seven minor penalties in the period expired.

Perreault put Montreal up by three with his 14th goal on a 5-on-3 advantage -- one of three the Canadiens' enjoyed in the second -- at 8:04.

Bruins goalie John Grahame expressed his frustration at his team's discipline problems by chopping his stick down on the crossbar after the goal.

Grahame drew a roughing penalty just 59 seconds later when he struck Montreal's Randy McKay in the head with his blocker after losing his stick.

Thornton was going to be called for a delayed tripping penalty late in the second when he threw Koivu to the ice.

Both referees had their arms raised as Thornton swung his left arm at Koivu. The punch missed, and Rivet quickly interceded on Koivu's behalf, drawing a roughing minor.

"You can't have any players taking liberties, especially on a guy like Sak, who's one of our best players,'' Rivet said. "He had intent to go after him and that's just somewhere where you just have to be in there to support your players.''

McInnis scored his fifth 2:49 into the third to draw the Bruins within two.

Game notes

Only two minor penalties were called in the first, both against Montreal. ... Kilger has four goals in five games after failing to score in his first 18.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press