BOSTON (AP) — The Montreal Canadiens are already off to a strong start. It doesn’t hurt that they have star goaltender Carey Price getting some early season rust off now, too.
Price stopped 19 shots in his second start, and Brendan Gallagher and Phillip Danault each had second-period goals Saturday night to lift the Canadiens to a 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins.
Price, playing just his second game after a bout with the flu at the start of the season, missed most of last season with a right knee injury. He won his season debut, stopping 27 shots against Arizona on Thursday.
“It’s always good to get minutes in, good quality minutes,” Price said. “The guys are playing really well defensively in front of me, and everybody’s rolling right now. It’s fun to watch.”
Torrey Mitchell and Paul Byron also scored for Montreal, which has not lost in regulation through its first five games (4-0-1). Byron’s goal was short-handed.
Dominic Moore and Ryan Spooner scored for Boston, which is winless in its last nine games at home against its longtime rivals. Backup goalie Anton Khudobin made 25 saves.
“I don’t like to lose,” Khudobin said after falling to 0-2 this season. “It’s the worst feeling, I would say. I understand maybe you’re not going to win all games, but I’m trying and it’s just a bad feeling when you’re losing.”
Gallagher had a simple explanation why the Canadiens feel so comfortable in Boston lately.
“It’s a fun place to play,” he said. “I think everyone gets excited when the fans are on you. It makes for a good atmosphere.”
Boston center Patrice Bergeron said the Bruins made too many mistakes.
“We didn’t make the easy plays too many times,” he said. “When you do that, it creates turnovers and you spend more time in your zone than you’d like to.”
Bruins starting goalie Tuukka Rask was out with an undisclosed injury that didn’t appear serious. Coach Claude Julien said before the game: “We’re going to shut him off and give him another day’s rest at least.”
Boston pulled its goalie with just under three minutes to play, and had a power play for all of the final two minutes. The Canadiens had two players in the box for the final 56 seconds.
After a scoreless first period that saw Montreal hold a 13-6 edge in shots on goal, the Canadiens jumped ahead 1-0 midway into the second on Gallagher’s goal. He took a pass from Max Pacioretty and one-timed a shot from the right circle that slipped into the net just inside the left post.
Montreal made it 2-0 late in the period when Danault took Alexander Radulov’s cross-ice pass and slipped a short wrist shot over Khudobin’s right shoulder.
Moore’s score came on Boston’s first shot of the third when he worked a give-and-go with Tim Schaller before slipping a wrister past Price from the slot, but Byron scored on a breakaway just less than two minutes later.
But, still on the power play, Spooner scored with just less than 13 minutes remaining in regulation.
Mitchell scored an unassisted goal, stealing the puck near the faceoff circle and slapping it one-handed into the net. He was high-sticked by David Krejci for a penalty right after the puck went into the net.
NOTES: The Bruins continued to struggle with their power play, failing in their first three tries to go 1 for 17 on the season before Spooner’s goal. … Montreal had killed off 21 of 22 penalties before giving up the PP score. … Bruins LW Brad Marchand needs two points for 300 in his career. … Boston D Adam McQuaid is still listed as day-to-day with an unspecified injury and hasn’t played in a game this season. … Boston recalled G Zane McIntyre from AHL Providence on an emergency basis.
Canadiens: Host Philadelphia on Monday, the first of four of five at home.
Bruins: Close a stretch of three straight home games against Minnesota on Tuesday.
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