The Bruins had a chance to even up the season series and more importantly, regain control of the Northeast Division but they failed on both counts as they lost 2-1 at Montreal’s Bell Centre on Saturday night. Boston (24-9-4) drew its first penalty of the game with 56 seconds left, but despite pulling Tuukka Rask (27 saves) and having a 6-on-4 in Montreal’s (25-8-5) end, the B’s somehow didn’t get a shot off before the game ended.
Boston head coach Claude Julien earned plenty of criticism by sticking Jaromir Jagr with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille all game. Montreal finished 3-1 against Boston in the regular season, the B’s lost the last three games (two at TD Garden) and each contest was decided by one goal. The Canadiens came out with much more energy and were rewarded as Alex Galchenyuk banked one in off Matt Bartkowski at 6:49 of the first period following the young defenseman’s turnover.
Former Bruin Michael Ryder is becoming quite a Bruins killer as he cashed in on Montreal’s only power play chance 57 seconds into the second period after he tipped P.K. Subban’s (2 assists) shot. Paille was the only Bruin to solve Carey Price (26 saves) after Johnny Boychuk’s shot from the point following a faceoff went off Paille for his seventh goal of the season.
Boston has four games next week (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday) starting with Carolina (16-19-2) coming to TD Garden on Monday (7 p.m., NESN).
Follow Metro Boston Bruins beat writer Richard Slate on Twitter @RichSlate