BOSTON (AP) — Glen Metropolit tied the game early in the third period, and Maxim Lapierre scored the go-ahead goal for Montreal on Tuesday night as the Canadiens scored four times in the final period to beat the Boston Bruins 4-1.
Mathieu Darche had a goal and an assist for Montreal, scoring to make it 3-1 with 2:30 left. Carey Price stopped 23 shots for the Canadiens, who had lost three of four before the Olympic break. Montreal improved to seventh in the Eastern Conference and dropped the Bruins into the eighth and final spot in the playoff race.
Benoit Pouliot added an empty-netter with 1:27 to play before Tuukka Rask could even get to the bench.
Rask made 28 saves for Boston, which had won four straight before the Olympics.
Both teams welcomed back their Olympians, and the Bruins had a display case set up in a luxury suite with Patrice Bergeron’s gold medal and Tim Thomas’ silver, along with their national team jerseys.
But that was the only sign of the gold medal game participants.
Bergeron was out with a sore groin, and Thomas was serving as backup, as he has for the past seven Bruins games — and in every game of the Olympic tournament.
Germany’s Marco Sturm, Slovakia’s Zdeno Chara and Miroslav Satan and David Krejci of the Czech Republic played for Boston; Sergei Kostitsyn of Belarus, Russia’s Andre Markov and Tomas Plekanec of the Czech Republic played for Montreal, with Slovakia’s Jaroslav Halak backing up Price in net.
The chants of “U-S-A!” that broke out sporadically across the TD Garden didn’t have the same resonance, two days after the Olympic gold medal game and 3,000 miles away.
And it finished the same way: With the team from Canada on top of the one from the US.
The Bruins opened their post-Vancouver stretch by taking a 1-0 lead with Sturm’s first-period goal.
Then the Canadiens picked up where the Canadians left off.
Montreal tied it 2:40 into the final period when Mathieu Darche sent a full-ice pass ahead to Tom Pyatt, who centered it to Metropolit for the score. The Canadiens made it 2-1 when Travis Moen outhustled defenseman Andrew Ference to a loose puck at the bottom of the left faceoff circle and sent a soft shot at the goal.
Lapierre got the rebound in front and flipped it over Rask.
NOTES: Montreal improved to 4-1 against Boston this season. … It was the 704th meeting between the Original Six teams. … Rask shut out the Canadiens in his last start against them, then blanked them for two more periods Tuesday night.