Final SO

Series (Game 3 of 6)

Montreal leads 5-1

Game 1: Thursday, November 5th
Canadiens2Final
SO
Bruins1
Game 2: Friday, December 4th
Bruins1Final
Canadiens5
Game 3: Thursday, February 4th
Canadiens3Final
SO
Bruins2
Game 4: Sunday, February 7th
Bruins3Final
Canadiens0
Game 5: Tuesday, March 2nd
Canadiens4Final
Bruins1
Game 6: Saturday, March 13th
Bruins2Final
Canadiens3

Canadiens 3

(27-25-6, 60 pts)

Bruins 2

(23-22-10, 56 pts)

Coverage: RDS

7:00 PM ET, February 4, 2010

TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

1 2 3 SO T
MTL 0 2 0 13
BOS 1 1 0 02

J. Halak (Canadiens - G): Saves: 45, Save Pct.: .957

P. Bergeron (Bruins - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 0

S. Gomez (Canadiens - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Gionta scores in shootout to lift Canadiens past reeling Bruins

Associated Press

BOSTON -- If Jaroslav Halak had his way, he wouldn't have to face 40 shots. But when it happens, the Montreal Canadiens goalie is tough to beat.

Fast Facts

• The Bruins are winless in their last nine games and in 12 of their last 14 games overall.

• Boston has scored 11 goals in its last eight games.

• Zdeno Chara was held without a point and has four points in his last 15 games.

-- ESPN Stats & Information

Halak is 7-0 in games he's faced 40 shots or more this season, making 45 saves and three more in the shootout Thursday night to carry the Canadiens to a 3-2 victory over the free-falling Boston Bruins, losers of nine straight.

"As long as we win, it doesn't matter how many shots they have and we have," Halak said. "It would be nice to get more shots on net, but we have to find our game."

Brian Gionta found the net in the third round of the shootout, beating Tuukka Rask with a backhander up high, before Halak stopped Marc Savard to end the game.

"We gave up a lot of big opportunities, but Halak came up big," Gionta said.

The Bruins, 0-7-2 during the second-longest losing streak in club history and 1-9-3 in their last 13 games, have also lost eight straight at home (0-6-2), also the second-longest stretch in team history.

Boston blew a 2-0 lead when the Canadiens got goals from former Bruin Glen Metropolit and Roman Hamrlik 39 seconds apart late in the second period.

Boston then wasted two power-play chances in the third period and a four-on-three in overtime before losing in the shootout for the second time in the first three games of a four-game homestand.

"We wound up in a shootout and we shouldn't have gotten there," Boston coach Claude Julien said.

The Bruins have 89 shots in the last two games and have one point to show for it.

"It's frustrating, to say the least," Julien said. "To be honest with you, I don't think I've ever seen that as a coach or experienced that as a player."

Rask fell to 0-4-1 in his last five starts, since a 4-0 shutout of the Atlanta Thrashers on Dec. 30.

Boston has scored 14 goals during the nine-game streak, 11 in the last eight.

Montreal beat the rival Bruins for the third time in three tries this season.

Mark Recchi and Blake Wheeler gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead, but Metropolit, on the power play, and Hamrlik tied it.

The two-goal lead was the first for the Bruins in eight games, since they took a 2-0 lead in Los Angeles on Jan. 16. They eventually lost that game in a shootout, starting the losing streak.

Recchi tipped home Dennis Wideman's slapper at 15:48 of the first period. After the goal, Halak came up with several big saves, one on Michael Ryder, as the Bruins continued to dominate.

The Bruins made it 2-0 when David Krejci carried the puck down the right side and his centering pass hit Halak's pad and went right to Wheeler, who scored his first goal in eight games and 13th of the season.

The Canadiens, looking like a beaten team, were quiet before striking late in the period. Boston's Matt Hunwick was off for hooking when Metropolit slid home a rebound for his first goal in 19 games. Shortly after, Hamrlik let a wrist shot go from inside the left point and Rask, screened on the play, saw the puck fly over his glove for Hamrlik's first goal in his last 20 games.

Scott Gomez assisted on both goals.

The Bruins continued to have the better of the offensive play in the third period, including three chances by Marco Sturm, but also wasted the two power plays. They had a 42-21 shots advantage heading into overtime and had five more shots in the extra five minutes.

Game notes


The game marked the 702nd regular-season game between the rivals, who meet again Sunday in Montreal. ... Krejci and Tomas Plekanec of the Canadiens will be teammates on the Czech Republic team and Bruins Zdeno Chara and Miroslav Satan will team up with Halak for Slovakia at the Olympics.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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