December 18, 2018 / 3:34 AM / 4 months ago

Halak, Bruins blank Canadiens

Jaroslav Halak’s 22 saves and a team-wide defensive effort gave the visiting Boston Bruins a dominant 4-0 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday.

Halak recorded his third shutout of the season, facing little in the way of consistent pressure thanks to his teammates largely stifling Montreal’s attack in open-ice play. Boston was just as successful on the other end, outshooting the Canadiens 35-22 and capitalizing on some sloppy puck-handling from the home team.

The Canadiens committed 14 giveaways in the first period, including one from Michael Chaput that led to the opening goal. Bruins center Joakim Nordstrom scored 2:21 into the game, putting the final touch on a tic-tac-toe passing play that followed an intercepted Chaput pass attempt.

Colby Cave recorded the first multi-point effort of his 16-game NHL career, an effort that included his first NHL goal. The Bruins again combined on a quality passing play, with Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak setting up Cave for his milestone score with 26 seconds remaining in the second period.

The Bruins followed up that late goal with a quick strike in the third period, as David Krejci scored just 46 seconds into the final frame. Another Canadiens turnover, this one from Brendan Gallagher, led to immediate pressure from Boston and Krejci’s sixth goal of the season.

Brad Marchand scored Boston’s final goal, a power-play marker 5:06 into the third period. Marchand now has 10 points (four goals and six assists) over his past six games and 11 goals on the season.

McAvoy and Pastrnak each had two assists in the game.

It was an all-around forgettable night for the Canadiens, who had won five of their previous six games. Montreal’s lack of offensive spark included three failed power-play opportunities, making the team 0-for-25 with the extra attacker over its past eight games.

The Monday game was the Canadiens’ final home date in 2018, as Montreal will play its final six December games on the road.

The Bruins have won two of three meetings with the Canadiens this season, with the visiting team winning all three matchups. Boston, which had lost its past two games before Monday, plays host to the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday.

—Field Level Media

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