After a pair of home losses to lesser teams last week, the Boston Bruins said they needed to concentrate more when facing clubs that are chasing them in the Eastern Conference.
The Bruins, however, bounced back to tie the Islanders 2-2 on the road Tuesday, then beat them 2-1 in overtime at home Thursday on Glen Murray’s second goal of the game and 500th career point.
“They really haven’t been going in a lot this year, but if you keep getting chances eventually you’ll get one in,” Murray said.
Boston is sixth in the East with 61 points, three ahead of Montreal and six ahead of the Islanders.
“One of the things we’ve talked about is trying to make sure the teams below us—the Islanders in the home-and-home with them and Montreal on Saturday—to try and keep them below us,” Boston defenseman Sean O’Donnell said. “Taking three out of four points is pretty good.”
Montreal got back into the playoff race by going 8-1-2 from Dec. 29-Jan. 20, but then lost a season high-tying three in a row.
The Canadiens snapped that skid with a 3-2 overtime win over Minnesota on the road Thursday.
“This was a huge win for us,” Ribeiro said. “It’s never easy to win in Minnesota, especially when you have to come back.”
STANDINGS (through Jan. 29): Bruins - 61 points, 3rd place, 5 PB, Northeast Division. Canadiens - 58 points, 4th place, 8 PB, Northeast Division.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Jan. 29): Bruins - Power play: 15.3 percent (29 for 189), 17th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.8 percent (169 for 204), 23rd. Canadiens - Power play: 19.1 percent (38 for 199), 6th. Penalty killing: 83.4 percent (161 for 193), 19th.
SEASON SERIES: 1-1-1.
LAST MEETING: Dec. 16; 1-1 tie. At Montreal, the Canadiens opened the scoring 10:08 into the second period on Craig Rivet’s second goal of the season, but Brian Rolston tied it less than two minutes later for the Bruins. Theodore made 30 saves, and Raycroft stopped 28 shots.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bruins - 13-6-4-3 on the road; Canadiens - 13-9-4-0 at home.