With Price continuing to nurse a lower body injury, Condon withstood a shot barrage from the Boston Bruins in the final two periods at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. to pick up a 5-1 win in front of an announced crowd of 67,246.
Condon, who grew up in nearby Holliston, made 27 saves on 28 shots on goal by the Bruins.
"Had a lot of friends and family here tonight," Condon said. "Yeah, Bruins, Habs, Gillette Stadium, New Year's Day, I don't think you could script it any better."
Overall, the Bruins outshot the Canadiens 25-16 in the final two frames. Boston netminder Tuukka Rask made 25 saves in the loss. It was a crucial win for the Habs to start 2016 out on the right foot. Montreal won three games in December and lost their perch atop the Atlantic Division to the Florida Panthers. The Canadiens regained that lead with the victory.
The Bruins have lost four of five games played.
"I think we just had a tough night, when it was – the unfortunate part is that I think we played one of our probably worst games at the worst time," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I think it just seemed like it was one of those nights we couldn't get anything going the first period. They were all over us. And it just didn't matter what we tried to do here we just couldn't get it going."
The game was carried by the Habs for the most part until early in the third period.
The Bruins had outshot the Canadiens 21-13 from the second period onward before a backbreaking goal by Max Pacioretty midway through the third to put the game at 4-1.
Boston Bruins forward Matt Beleskey fired home a shot past Condon to put the game at 3-1 in favor of Montreal at the 3:56 mark of the third.
Near the end of the second period, Montreal forward Brendan Gallagher fired his 10th goal to put the game at 3-0. For Gallagher, this was his first game back after missing over a month following hand surgery.
Montreal got off to a quick start to put the Bruins down early.
Two minutes into the second period Canadiens forward Paul Byron jammed home a puck from a scrum in front of Rask.
The game had some animosity with Desharnais and Bruins defenseman Torey Krug engaging in a skirmish in front of the Bruins net in the first period. Both were given double-minors for roughing. Montreal's Lars Eller and Boston's Jimmy Hayes got into a tussle near the end of the game. Boston's Zac Rinaldo and Montreal's Torrey Mitchell also engaged in a bit of a scrum postgame.
Cloud cover and 40.6 degree temperature at puck drop helped ice condition at Gillette Stadium. The day before the Bruins commented that sunlight hurt practice at the makeshift rink in the middle of the football field.
The game capped off two days worth of events and photo ops at the field. On Thursday, New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick skated on the rink. This was before the Women’s Winter Classic game, an alumni game with famous former Bruins and Canadiens players.
Byron finished the game with two goals, and Pacioretty scored a goal and added an assist. Max Talbot and Rinaldo were both a minus-3 for Boston.
Road teams are now 12-3-1 in regular season NHL outdoor games.
"I think we have to build on that. This is a great souvenir for players and all. We've got – players are surrounded with their family and their friends and you want to remember that day. And the best way, first of all, to remember that day is to win this hockey game," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "We didn't want it to be a nightmare. We want to make sure that we're going to have good memories and build on that big win. And this is exactly – this was an emotional game, exactly what we did, but we have to build on that, a big game for us."
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