Canadiens surge past Bruins in home opener 6-4
MONTREAL (AP) -- Brendan Gallagher and P.A. Parenteau each had two goals and the Montreal Canadiens won their home opener, 6-4 over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night.
Max Pacioretty had a goal and two assists, while Jiri Sekac got his first NHL goal for Montreal.
Zdeno Chara, Carl Soderberg, Loui Eriksson and Simon Gagne, with his first as a Bruin, scored for Boston. The Bruins led 3-2 before fading late in the second period. Boston was coming off a win Wednesday night in Detroit.
Tuukka Rask, who is 3-11-3 against Montreal, allowed five goals on 23 shots before leaving 7:17 into the third in favor of Niklas Svedberg.
There was concern the game could get heated in the rivals' first meeting since the teams' seven-game playoff series in the spring.
But other than Alexei Emelin dumping Milan Lucic with an early open-ice check and Brad Marchand jabbing P.K. Subban in the second period, the teams stuck to playing hockey.
The pregame ceremonies saw perhaps the warmest applause Michel Therrien has had in his three seasons as coach, but his team came out flat.
Boston led 7-1 in shots when Chara, posted in front of Carey Price on a power play, had David Krejci's shot go in off his leg at 9:03 of the first.
Montreal responded with its first power-play goal in 15 tries this season when David Desharnais went hard to the net and saw the puck go off Adam McQuaid's skate, then off Pacioretty's skate and in at 11:33.
After Gallagher put Montreal ahead at 7:43 of the second, the Bruins responded as Soderberg got the puck amid a crowd of Montreal defenders and scored at 8:34 and Eriksson tipped in Torey Krug's pass at 11:31.
But in the final two minutes of the period, the Canadiens scored twice as Sekac jumped on a deflected puck and scored into an open side at 18:11 and Parenteau scored for his first with the Canadiens from the slot at 19:36.
Pacioretty deflected Emelin's pass in off Gallagher's leg 7:17 into the third. Boston got it back at 14:11 as Lucic went around Emelin and had his shot fall behind Price, and Gagne slide in to score with his skate. Parenteau added an empty-net power-play goal.
Notes: The highlight of the pregame ceremonies had goaltending great Ken Dryden pass a torch to Price to start the player introductions, in which the Canadiens passed the torch to one another. ... Sekac's parents and girlfriend from the Czech Republic were on hand for his first goal. ... Montreal sat out forward Dale Weise and defenseman Nathan Beaulieu in favor of Travis Moen and Emelin, who returned from an upper body injury. ... Gagne and Gregory Campbell dressed for Boston, which scratched Matt Fraser, Matt Bartkowski and Ryan Spooner.