Carl Soderberg, Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic scored in the second period and the Boston Bruins beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 on Wednesday night for their sixth straight victory.
Tuukka Rask made 35 saves, and Zdeno Chara also scored for Boston. The Bruins improved to 43-17-5 and pulled within a point of idle Pittsburgh for the Eastern Conference lead. They are 9-1-2 in their last 12 games,
David Desharnais scored for Montreal. The Canadiens have lost three in a row and are 3-4-1 without injured No. 1 goalie Carey Price since the Olympic break.
Rask stopped Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk on breakaways in the first period.
Soderberg scored from close range early in the second after Montreal rookie Jarred Tinordi misplayed the puck off a faceoff. Boston went on a counterattack after Andrei Markov fell and Bergeron finished off a give-and-go with Brad Marchand at 9:25. Lucic bumped Alexei Emelin off the puck and then trailed in on a rush to score on a routine shot that got between Peter Budaj’s pads for his 20th of the season at 18:32.
Chara got another 23 seconds into the third when he broke in from the point and put in his own rebound.
Desharnais then found the puck in a scramble with newcomer Thomas Vanek tying up traffic in the crease. It was Vanek’s first point in three games since he was acquired from the New York Islanders in a trade-deadline deal last week.
Notes: Galchenyuk played his 100th NHL game. … Francis Bouillon was back in the Montreal lineup for the first time since Feb. 8, bumping Mike Weaver. Brandon Prust returned after missing seven games with an upper- body injury. .,. Boston sat Dougie Hamilton for a second game to make room for newcomer Andrej Mezsaros.