Bruins 3, Canadiens 1

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BOSTON (AP)—The Boston Bruins moved over .500 and ahead of the slumping Canadiens in the standings, all in one night.

Glen Murray and Patrice Bergeron scored power-play goals less than two minutes apart and Boston won again behind new starting goalie Tim Thomas, beating Montreal 3-1 on Thursday night.

“We’ve preached all along to our players that we are still in the race,” Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said. “It is a different feeling now and the guys have made a conscious effort to pay attention to the details and it’s a credit to the leadership on this team.”

The Bruins are 7-1-2 in the last 10 games while the Canadiens have dropped six of eight and are 6-13 overall in their last 19 games.

“We are walking a fine line right now,” Canadiens assistant captain Sheldon Souray said. “The penalties are killing us and we need to play more desperate and get more urgency in our game.”

Boston moved two points in front of Montreal in the Northeast Division standings with 54. And the Bruins have moved within one point of the idle Toronto Maple Leafs for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

Thomas, who has started the last 10 games, made 16 saves for the Bruins. Boston (23-22-8) is over .500 for the first time since Nov 12.

Murray and Bergeron scored to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead in the second period.

“We all believed in ourselves,” Bergeron said. “It was a matter of confidence and that creates a fine line between winning and losing.”

With Niklas Sundstrom and Chris Higgins both in the penalty box for tripping, Murray one-timed a pass from Brad Stuart and beat Canadiens goalie Cristobal Huet.

“We need more jump and start believing we can do it,” Huet said. “They played a great second period and it was very tiring for us.”

Bergeron gave the Bruins the lead when he and Brad Boyes combined on a perfect give-and-go.

“That is one of the best goals I have ever seen him score,” Boyes said. “Every game he seems to top himself.”

Boyes put the game away with an empty net goal with 38 seconds remaining. He has an eight-game point streak with five goals and eight assists in that span.

Tomas Plekanec gave Montreal a 1-0 lead when he converted a feed from Sheldon Souray and beat Thomas inside the right post at 15:14 of the first period.

Huet was making his third start in the last five games in place of the struggling Jose Theodore. Theodore has only four wins since Dec 13.

Boston’s P.J. Axelsson missed a penalty shot with 12:57 remaining in the first period after he was tripped by Francis Bouillon on a breakaway.

Montreal had beaten Boston five straight times going back to the 2003-04 season. The Canadiens overcame a 3-1 deficit in the playoffs and had won the first two matchups this season.

Murray returned to the Bruins lineup after missing 10 games and scored only his third goal since Joe Thornton was traded three months ago.

Notes

Plekanec has three goals and three assists in the last six games. … Josh Langfeld played his first game for the Bruins after being claimed from San Jose. Langfeld scored his only two goals this season against Boston. … Brian Leetch missed the game with a groin injury. … Alex Kovalev has three goals in the last 19 games.

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  Game Winning Goal
P. Bergeron P. Bergeron
Boston Bruins
Scored at 12:13 of 2nd

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Tim Thomas Dal 17 16