MONTREAL (AP) – The Montreal Canadiens finally got a home win, and it took two rallies to get it.

Alexander Perezhogin scored midway through the third period to give Montreal a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night.

Mike Ribeiro scored his second goal of the season 2:02 into the third to tie it at 3 and Perezhogin gave Montreal its only lead of the game at 9:12 with the Canadiens’ third power-play goal.

Montreal, 4-0 on the road this season, won for the first time in three home games.

“A few times we lost the momentum again, with penalties,” Canadiens captain Saku Koivu said. “This is a team with a lot of offense up front and they’re really going to capitalize on our mistakes. They did that early in the game, but we stuck with the game plan, came back and got some goals, and then at the end we got the bounces. They weren’t pretty goals but we’ll take them and get the first win.”

Boston’s Brian Leetch scored in the first period and assisted on Nick Boynton’s goal in the second to become the seventh defenseman – and 69th player – in NHL history to reach 1,000 career points.

“I hope they don’t mention I was on the ice for all four goals in the loss,” said Leetch, taking care of that himself. “Hopefully they won’t remember that, because that was disappointing.”

Jose Theodore of Montreal made 20 saves, including holding off Boston on a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:13 shortly after Perezhogin’s goal.

“We had a lot of chances in the third, and they had some great chances, also,” Theodore said. “The guys played really well on that 5-on-3. We played well as a team and worked hard. We worked smart with and without the puck and got away with a win.”

The Bruins have played only home game – a 2-1 loss to the Canadiens in the season opener on Oct. 5. They ended a six-game road trip at 3-3 and return home Thursday against Buffalo.

“Home or away, it doesn’t matter, the game’s still the game,” Bruins forward Tom Fitzgerald said. “Other than the last change, there’s no difference. Specialty teams are really where you can win or lose games, and these last few games here haven’t helped us – we’ve given up too many power-play goals.”

Boston built a 2-0 lead on first-period goals by P.J. Axelsson and Leetch, the latter on a power play 8:20 in.

Michael Ryder and Koivu scored in the second period to draw Montreal even before Boynton scored the Bruins’ second power-play goal, his first of the season, at 15:43.

“We knew we had to come back in the second pretty strong and I think we did that, we came back and scored two goals to tie it up,” Ryder said. “They managed to get another one but we came out of that with a positive attitude. We won the period and we just had to work on it in the third.”

Boston center Dave Scatchard, called for hooking in the first period and penalized for diving when Ryder scored 5:17 into the second, was sent off for hooking 47 seconds into the third.

The Canadiens drew even at 3 when Ribeiro batted a deflection into the net after goalie Andrew Raycroft stopped defenseman Francis Bouillon’s shot from the point.

Theodore came up with a big pad save on Glenn Murray moments later to keep it tied.

It was Boston that grabbed the early two-goal lead to quiet a sellout Bell Centre crowd. Axelsson opened the scoring with his third of the season 5:38 in. Leetch got his second of the season on a power play at 8:20.

Notes: Andre Dawson and Gary Carter were on hand as the Canadiens introduced Youppi!, the furry orange creature, as their mascot prior to the game. The former Montreal Expos greats were invited as guests of the Canadiens to unfurl a banner commemorating the defunct National League team and its retired numbers, including Dawson and Rusty Staub’s No. 10, Carter’s No. 8, and current Chicago White Sox coach Tim Raines’ No. 30. … The crowd chanted “Raycroft! Raycroft!” throughout the game. It was last heard in the Canadiens’ playoff win over the Bruins and their then-rookie goaltender in 2004. “I love it,” Raycroft said. “You know they care here, and it’s always fun to play here. I don’t mind at all.”

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