BOSTON -- While the media, and probably many of the fans, were dealing with the speculation of a trade that would bring 525-goal scorer Jarome Iginla to the Boston Bruins, hockey's greatest rivalry added another chapter Wednesday night.
The Montreal Canadiens stole the game, and then the Pittsburgh Penguins stole Iginla from the Bruins.
The Canadiens blew a 2-0 lead and trailed 4-2 after two periods and 5-3 in the third before rallying. Montreal tied the game with 8.2 seconds left in regulation and then pulled out a 6-5 victory over the Bruins in a shootout.
At game's end, rumors were rampant that Iginla was headed to Boston in exchange for two prospects and a first-round draft pick. Instead, the Calgary Flames dealt their captain to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a first-round pick plus two unsigned college prospects.
Before missing out on Iginla, the Bruins lost for the fourth time in their last six games, and the Canadiens had ended a two-game losing streak. Montreal (21-7-5) moved past Boston (21-7-4) into first place in the Northeast Division.
"When you get down two goals twice and come back two goals, you have a lot of character in this group," said Montreal's Brendan Gallagher, who scored a goal in the third-period rally and then had the only goal of a six-round shootout. "It's great to see it, and it's a lot of fun."
Gallagher made it 5-4 after a bounce off the face of Boston defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, just 28 seconds after the Bruins scored an insurance goal. Gallagher also was originally credited with the tying goal, but the puck actually deflected off Boston's Zdeno Chara, and the goal was given to Andrei Markov after the game.
It was the second time in as many tries this season that the Canadiens rallied in the third period to win in Boston.
Patrice Bergeron had a goal and three assists, and Tyler Seguin a goal and two helpers as the Bruins roared back with a great second period. But the Canadiens scored three times in the third, the tying goal coming during a 6-on-4 with the goalie pulled and Montreal on a power play thanks to a delay-of-game call on Boston's Aaron Johnson.
Montreal goalie Peter Budaj, who replaced Carey Price after the second period and was strong the rest of the way (14 saves), stopped all six shootout attempts. Boston goalie Tuukka Rask was perfect until Gallagher beat him between the pads. He made 23 saves through regulation and overtime.
"I guess we just weren't meant to win that game," Rask said.
With the Bruins hoping to land Iginla to help their offense, Boston scored five goals for only the second time this year. The Bruins came in with eight goals in their previous five games.
Boston gave up five goals (not counting the shootout) for only the second time this season, and it also continued its third-period defensive woes.
"It was nice to see us score some goals tonight," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We've been a little dry lately, and we managed to score five, so that was nice to see, but unfortunately we couldn't keep it out of our net, so it ended up costing us the game."
Dougie Hamilton (No. 4), Brad Marchand (No. 14), Bergeron (No. 10) and Nathan Horton (No. 9) scored in the second period to chase Price. Budaj was beaten only on a Seguin goal (No. 11) with 8:10 left in the third.
It was after the last meeting that the Bruins accused the Canadiens of diving to get calls, a claim Montreal's Max Pacioretty answered by stating the Bruins were "jealous" of the Habs being in first place at the time. The Bruins were talking the same way after this one.
Former Bruin Michael Ryder scored two goals (Nos. 11 and 12), one in the first period and one in the third. Montreal's P.K. Subban, the defenseman TD Garden fans love to hate, made it 2-0 at 2:53 of the second.
"That's what good teams do," said Ryder, who has five goals on his second tour with the Canadiens, all in his last seven games (12 on the season). "They find ways to get back and not give up, and this team, we do it here.
"Even though we were down by two goals going into the third, we just managed to stick with it and keep playing hard. We knew we were still in it, and we just had to play a hard 20 minutes, and we did that, and we managed to win it."
Iginla was scratched from the Flames' game in Calgary, while the Bruins scratched defenseman Matt Bartkowski and the minor league Providence Bruins did the same with Alexander Khokhlachev. Speculation had the pair and a first-round pick heading northwest.
A TSN journalist even tweeted that the Calgary-Boston deal was done, but the report proved to be incorrect.
"I don't know if it affected the game, but it's present," Julien said. "There's a lot of rumors circling around our team, and I called a couple of players in my office just to talk before the game about certain things. They were a little jumpy; they were all expecting the worst news, and it had nothing to do with trades. (It was for) talking about the game."
NOTES: The Bruins recalled defenseman Torey Krug, and he was on the ice for the first two Montreal goals. However, he also assisted on Bergeron's goal, and Julien was pleased with his effort. ... Bartkowski signed a contract extension through next season on Tuesday. ... Earlier in the day, Boston GM Peter Chiraelli made it clear he won't be dealing 19-year-old goalie Malcolm Subban. ... The Bruins claimed forward Kaspars Daugavins off waivers from Ottawa. Daugavins, whose only goal this season was against the Bruins and can be remembered for his trick-shot shootout attempt that was stopped by Rask, was having his work visa taken care of. Krug's arrival coincided with Johnny Boychuk (foot) being placed on injured reserve. ... The Canadiens host the New York Rangers on Saturday, while the Bruins, who have their last two-day rest of the regular season Thursday and Friday, visit Philadelphia and Buffalo over the weekend. ... The Canadiens and Bruins complete their season series April 6 at Montreal, the Canadiens leading 2-1. All three wins were recorded by the visiting team.