MONTREAL – Patrice Bergeron broke a tie in the second period as the Boston Bruins downed slumping Montreal 4-1 on Tuesday night, leaving the Canadiens winless in five games.
Max Talbot, David Pasternak and Brad Marchand, with an empty-net goal, also scored for the Bruins (24-16-5), who won a third straight game and avenged a 5-1 loss to Montreal in the NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1. The team’s wore their Winter Classic jerseys in the rematch.
Mark Barberio scored for the Canadiens, who led their division with a 19-4-3 record in early December, are in a 4-16-1 funk. Montreal outshot the Bruins 39-24.
There was a report that coach Michel Therrien may be fired if the Canadiens lost the game, and a trade has been anticipated to shake Montreal out of its lethargy.
But the Canadiens showed no sign of having given up as they came out strong, if only to fall behind at 13:08.
Mike Condon stopped Talbot on a breakaway, but Andrei Markov’s weak pass went straight back to Talbot for a shot in off the goalie’s glove.
Barberio tied it 8:48 into the second frame with a one-timer of a P.K. Subban feed from a tight angle that beat Tuukka Rask, who usually struggles against the Canadiens and is now 5-15-3 against them in his career.
Condon was bowled over by teammate Alexei Emelin as his clearing pass was picked off by Pasternak and fed to Bergeron for a goal at 16:49. Bergeron mover past Cam Neely into eighth place in Bruins history with his 591th career point.
Condon was slow to get to the far post as Pasternak, returning from an injury, circled the net and tucked one in at 12:14 of the third.
Montreal lost defenceman Nathan Beaulieu to a lower body injury in the first period and winger Paul Byron to a lower body injury in the third.
Notes – Denna Laing, the Boston Pride player who suffered a severe spine injury in the women’s game at the Winter Classic, was honoured in a pre-game scoreboard montage. Jerseys signed by players from both teams will be auctioned to raise funds for her. . . Boston’s David Krejci (upper body) missed a 10th game. Pasternak returned after missing three games.
© 2016 The Canadian Press