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Canadiens chase Tuukka Rask, beat Bruins

01.30.14 at 9:39 pm ET
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The Canadiens interrupted the Bruins’ recent hot streak Thursday, taking a 4-1 contest at TD Garden and improving to 2-0-0 against the B’s this season.

Tuukka Rask was pulled for the fourth time this season and dropped to 2-10-2 in his career against the Canadiens. He allowed three goals on 18 shots before being pulled a little over halfway through the second period. Chad Johnson allowed one goal in relief.

The Habs got on the board 2:16 into the game when an Alexei Emelin shot from the point went through plenty of traffic but didn’t appear to hit anything on its way past Rask. Max Pacioretty made it 2-0 later in the period when he took a feed from Brendan Gallagher off a Daniel Paille turnover, flew down the wing and held off Johnny Boychuk on his way to beating Rask five-hole.

Dougie Hamilton got the B’s on the board at 15:38 of the first when a shot from the point hit a Montreal body and got past Peter Budaj, but it would be Boston’s only goal of the night. A Brian Gionta power-play goal at 11:54 of the second chased Rask, and a Daniel Briere breakaway goal on Johnson made it a three-goal lead for the Habs.

The loss snapped the Bruins’ four-game winning streak. The B’s have four games left before the Olympic break and will host Andrew Ference and the Oilers on Saturday.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS

– Rask has now been pulled four times this season, all of which have come in the last month and a half. Rask was pulled Dec. 14 against the Canucks, Dec. 28 in Ottawa and Jan. 9 in Los Angeles. Though Gionta’s goal was the only particularly bad one he allowed, getting yanked at least four times in a season isn’t a great thing to have on a Vezina resume.

– The Bruins had scored six goals in three straight games (3-0-0) prior to Thursday’s game, but they were able to muster exactly one sixth of that mark Thursday.

– The B’s didn’t exactly respond to the Habs mounting a three-goal lead in the second period, as they seemed to get sloppier late in the second. Even with a power play off a tripping penalty on P.K. Subban, the B’s moved the puck terribly late in the second, passing the puck out of the offensive zone twice late in the period.

– The Merlot Line was reunited after spending most of the last three games apart, but it turned in a bad showing Thursday night. The trio of Gregory Campbell between Paille and Shawn Thornton were on the ice for the Canadiens’ first two goals, the second of which came off a turnover by Paille.

– The Bruins’ second line has come down to earth a bit, as it’s now gone two straight games without a goal. Thursday’s loss saw Reilly Smith‘s point streak end at seven games, while Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand have now gone two games without a point.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS

– With the assists on Hamilton’s goal, both Loui Eriksson and Carl Soderberg have three-game point streaks with a goal and two assists apiece. Eriksson now has six goals and 12 assists for 18 points through 33 games, while Soderberg has seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points in 45 games.

Read More: Chad Johnson, Dougie Hamilton, Peter Budaj, Tuukka Rask
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