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Northeast melee: Habs, Bruins battle for first place
(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens have notched a point in 10 straight games, while the Boston Bruins are riding a season-long six-game winning streak.
It's no surprise then that the two clubs share the top spot in the Northeast Division, but one team will grab sole possession on Sunday night when the two rivals meet in Boston.
The Canadiens and Bruins both come into this meeting with an Eastern Conference-high 30 points, though Boston has played three fewer games and has one more victory. That has the Bruins atop the conference standings, with the Canadiens fourth overall.
Boston is 14-2-2 on the season, its best 18-game start in franchise history since the 1929-30 club was 16-2-0.
The Bruins haven't lost since a road setback in Buffalo on Feb. 15 and are looking to win seven straight for the first time since Dec. 10-28 of last season.
Montreal, meanwhile, seemed to hit a low point with a 6-0 home loss at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 9. That was the club's third straight defeat at the time, but the Habs have since gone 7-0-3, winning their first five after the blowout to the Leafs.
The Canadiens avenged the loss to the Maple Leafs on Monday with a 5-2 road win and saw their offense stay hot on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Penguins. However, the defense wasn't as sharp and Montreal lost a 7-6 decision in overtime.
The clubs combined for six goals in the second period of a back-and-forth contest and Brian Gionta's second goal of the game tied things up with 9:06 remaining in the third period. The Pens, though, scored just 52 seconds into the bonus frame.
"Crazy game. Exciting for the fans. That's one of the reasons we've got coaches that start to get gray hair," said Canadiens coach Michel Therrien. "But we're making comebacks and we found a way to get a point."
Brandon Prust, David Desharnais, Max Pacioretty and P.K. Subban all scored, while Carey Price ended up allowing seven goals on 36 shots. Brandon Gallagher, Tomas Kaberle, Alexei Emelin and Lars Eller each had two assists for Montreal.
"It was one of those games, with momentum shifting back and forth a couple of times, but we have to be better than that," said Pacioretty, whose club begins a five-game road trip tonight.
The Bruins were engaged in a less-exciting contest on Saturday, but they came out on the positive end thanks to a 3-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley scored in the second period to erase a two-goal deficit and Brad Marchand put home the game-winner with 2:16 to play while on the power play.
Marchand's goal was his team-leading 11th of the season, while Seguin and Peverley notched their fourth and third goals of the campaign, respectively.
"Our guys that haven't scored much are starting to come around," said Peverley. "Hopefully this will lead to them getting more."
Backup Anton Khudobin gave No. 1 Tuukka Rask the night off and made 20 saves.
The Bruins notched a 2-1 victory in Montreal on Feb. 6, their fifth straight victory in this series, and it featured a goal and an assist by Seguin and 20 saves from Rask.
Price stopped 21 shots and Subban had a goal for the Canadiens, who have lost two straight and four of their last five in Boston.
03/03 10:14:03 ET