Both teams played while also dealing with off-ice concerns.
The sellout crowd of 21,273 gave a standing ovation before the game in honor of Laura Gainey, the daughter of Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey who was lost at sea Friday when she was swept off a sailing ship into the Atlantic Ocean by a rogue wave.
Hope of finding her faded when an extensive aerial search was called off Monday night.
“We had a couple of days where we were hoping that a miracle would happen,” Aebischer said.
The spontaneous reaction from the crowd came as public address announcer Michel Lacroix began his request for a moment of silence, observed on behalf of 25-year-old Laura.
“I’m sure that Bob was watching the game and he was touched,” Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. “I was happy to see that.”
The Bruins played without 19-year-old rookie Phil Kessel, who had cancer-related surgery Monday in Boston and is out indefinitely.
“We tried to pull one out for the kid, but we had some tough breaks,” said Savard, Kessel’s roommate.
Samsonov, who hadn’t scored since Oct. 28, put Montreal ahead twice. His second goal at 12:49 of the third gave the Canadiens their third and final lead.
“Obviously when things aren’t going your way, you try to press a little more,” Samsonov said. “Sometimes it’s good just to step away a little bit and try to relax, and just go out and play hard. I’ve played like that for the last week or so. I just had to stop concentrating on scoring and play my game, and the results will come.”
Latendresse scored his seventh of the season at 16:00 to give Montreal a 4-2 lead.
Savard, who scored his eighth of the season 2:09 into the middle period to tie it at 1, got the Bruins even again with his ninth goal at 7:34.
Samsonov had given Montreal its second lead moments earlier with a spectacular 4-on-4 goal.
The former Bruins left wing gave the Canadiens a short-lived 2-1 lead when he stick-handled through Boston’s zone before putting his own rebound past Hannu Toivonen for his fifth goal at 6:52.
Markov opened the scoring on a power play 6:36 into the first. The Russian defenseman took Alex Kovalev’s pass with his right skate and kicked the puck ahead, onto his stick before flipping a shot over Toivonen’s outstretched right pad.
Moments later, Bruins right wing Glen Murray also went to the dressing room after he was bloodied by the left ear after he attempted to block Mike Johnson’s slap shot from the point with his stick. He was struck squarely on the side of his head by the deflection.
Both players returned later in the period.
Gainey has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the team. Canadiens assistant general manager Pierre Gauthier is handling Gainey’s duties. … Canadiens D Sheldon Souray missed the game because of a right wrist injury. He is day to day. … Toivonen made 36 saves.