BOSTON -- The Canadiens scored two unanswered goals in the first 10 minutes of the third period, erasing a one-goal deficit, and regained first place in the Northeast Division and Eastern Conference with a 4-3 win over the Bruins on Sunday night at TD Garden.
David Desharnais scored his second of the game for the game-winner at 9:17 of the final period after Pacioretty tied the game at 5:31. Tomas Plekanec had the other goal for Montreal, which also got a solid 31-save performance from Peter Budaj.
Bruins win fights but lose on scoreboard -- After a relatively quiet period in terms of the rough stuff, things got very testy late in the second period. First Milan Lucic and Brandon Prust dropped the gloves at 15:01 as Lucic won decisively. Then 34 ticks later, Alexei Emelin gave Seguin a butt-end to the midsection at center ice, sending Seguin to the ice in pain. That sent captain Zdeno Chara flying after Emelien as Chara took Emelin to the ice and let go a flurry of punches. While Chara and the Bruins easily won the physical battles most of the game, they lost on the scoreboard as Chara spent 17 minutes in the sin bin after getting a 10-minute misconduct, five minutes for fighting and two minutes for instigating. The Habs didn't score on that power play, but did score two goals while Chara was serving his remaining minutes.
Marchand-Bergeron-Seguin line continues to create, convert -- Brad Marchand has scored most of the goals this season, but his entire line has been one of the best in terms of creating chances and converting. The trio combined for eight points Sunday as Marchand had a career-high three assists, Bergeron had a goal and two assists and Seguin had a goal and an assist. But they were unable to convert at the end of the game, as Seguin was robbed by Budaj.
Hamilton pinching in -- Hamilton scored his second goal of the season at 9:20 of the second period, and the goal was a perfect example of the rookie's instincts for the game. Hamilton pinched down low and took a beautiful feed from Marchand, who found Hamilton just between the lower left circle and the goal line. Hamilton hit a rookie wall recently and saw his minutes go down, but this kid seems to have too much skill to stay down for long. That was a veteran move by Hamilton and not his first this season.
Thornton returns; Bourque sits -- After spending the afternoon in the press box as a healthy scratch for his team's 3-2 win over the Lightning on Saturday, Shawn Thornton was back in the lineup. Taking his spot in the press box was Chris Bourque, who was the healthy scratch for the second time this season. That meant Jay Pandolfo was on the fourth line and Daniel Paille moved up to the third line. Here's what the forward lines and defensive pairings looked like:
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Jay Pandolfo-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Dougie Hamilton