BOSTON (AP) – Michael Ryder backhanded in the rebound of Alexei Kovalev’s shot on the power play with 11.1 seconds remaining to give the Montreal Canadiens a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.

Tom Fitzgerald was called for hooking with 26 seconds to play to set up the power play for the Canadiens.

Jan Bulis also had a goal, and Jose Theodore made 29 saves for Montreal.

Patrice Bergeron scored for Boston, which outshot the Canadiens 30-21 but failed to score on seven power-play opportunities, including four in the third period.

The Bruins’ best chance with the man advantage came with about seven minutes to play when Brad Isbister misfired from close range on Shawn McEachern’s cross-ice pass. McEachern fanned on the rebound of Brian Leetch’s slap shot about midway through the period.

The Canadiens went on top at 10:50 of the first period when Bulis took a lead pass from Niklas Sundstrom, skated down the left wing, fought off Bruins rookie defenseman Kevin Dallman, and flipped the puck over Andrew Raycroft’s left shoulder. Raycroft made 19 saves.

The Bruins had a chance to tie it less than two minutes later, but Isbister couldn’t control Glen Murray’s pass on a two-on-one break.

Bergeron evened it at 17:44 when he skated down the right wing and lifted a 30-foot shot over Theodore’s shoulder. The anticipated rash of penalties based on the preseason enforcement of new rules designed to cut down on clutching and grabbing, did not occur, at least in the first two periods. Each team had only one penalty in the first period, and two each in the second. The Bruins penalty-killing unit held the Canadiens without a shot on net during a second-period power play. Montreal didn’t get its first shot on goal in the period until there were nearly 16 minutes elapsed.

By that time, the Bruins had 11 shots.

The Bruins hadn’t lost to the Canadiens in their previous six regular-season meetings (3-0-3). Boston had however, lost three in a row in the playoffs to Montreal during the 2003-04 season when the Canadiens came back to win a seven-game series after being down down 3-1 for the first time.

Notes Former Bruins great Milt Schmidt, whose No. 15 is retired, and who was a player, coach and general manager of the team, dropped the ceremonial first puck. … Former Bruins Derek Sanderson and John “Pie” McKenzie and former Canadiens Henri Richard and Yvon Cournoyer also participated in pregame ceremonies. … The Bruins and Canadiens have played more than any two teams in NHL history. Wednesday’s game was the 670th between the clubs. … Bruins forwards Dave Scatchard (groin strain) and Alex Zhamnov (bruised shoulder) didn’t play.

AP-ES-10-05-05 2146EDT

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