Canadiens bounce back to beat Bruins
Zdeno Chára brought up a personal milestone on Tuesday night when he became only the 21st player to feature in 1,500 NHL games.
However, Chára was unable to stop the Boston Bruins from losing their six-game winning streak as they were beaten 5-4 by the Montreal Canadiens.
The Bruins went into the game as favourites with sports betting companies, but both teams played their part in an entertaining game that was dominated by offence.
There was a touching moment before the game got underway when Chára was given an ovation by the home crowd when his achievement was announced.
Chára, who has been captain of the Bruins since 2006, is only the third player born outside North America to reach the 1,500 milestone, following Jaromír Jágr and Nicklas Lidström.
However, it was the home side who ultimately emerged victorious, thanks to two goals from Victor Mete and goals from Ben Chiarot and Tomáš Tatar, who both also contributed an assist, while Carey Price contributed 21 saves for the Canadiens and coach Claude Julien reached 1,200 games as an NHL coach – he is only the 19th individual in NHL history to reach that figure.
For Boston, David Pastrňák scored, increasing his point streak to 13 games, which is a career NHL high, while Tuukka Rask had 26 saves for the Bruins but couldn’t prevent them from losing in regulation for the first time since early October.
Speaking to the media, Rask said that it was just one of those days:
“It’s one of those nights when you feel like instead of a hockey puck, it’s a golf ball out there. You’re just not tracking it well, so tough night for me, but I thought we battled well. We could have easily won the game, but I couldn't make a save.”
The game had been tight throughout, and with the score at 4-3 to Montreal, Sean Kuraly levelled it with his first goal of the season early in the third post.
Shortly afterwards, on 5:23, Charlie Coyle appeared to have given the Bruins the lead, but the goal was disallowed for offside after a review, and on 9:06, Chiarot scored what turned out to be the winner.
However, despite the loss, the Bruins remain top of the Atlantic Division and will take on the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, while the Canadiens will hope to move up from fourth in the Atlantic by beating the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.
Words: Josh Dixon