MONTREAL – Patrice Brisebois had a goal and an assist and the Montreal Canadiens scored three power-play goals in the second period to beat the Boston Bruins 3-1 in NHL exhibition action Wednesday.
Alex Kovalev and Guillaume Latendresse each scored their first pre-season goal for the Canadiens (6-2-0), who extended their pre-season winning streak to three games. The Canadiens have one exhibition game remaining, at home Saturday against the Minnesota Wild.
Zdeno Chara scored in his first exhibition game for the Bruins (2-3-1), who lost their second straight of the pre-season.
The Canadiens showcased what will likely be their top two lines to open the season for the first time as captain Saku Koivu made his pre-season debut after recovering from a foot injury suffered in his native Finland.
Koivu centred a line with Alex Tanguay and Christopher Higgins while last year’s top unit of Tomas Plekanec between Alex Kovalev and Andrei Kostitsyn remained intact.
Tanguay was also used often on the left point paired with either Brisebois or Yannick Weber on the power play.
Jaroslav Halak followed up his shutout in his last start with another solid performance, stopping 33 shots, with no chance on Chara’s goal.
Bruins goalie Manny Fernandez was also solid with 24 saves, turning away several quality opportunities early in the game before succumbing to the Habs power play in the second.
Former Hab Michael Ryder made his first appearance at the Bell Centre since signing a three-year, US$12 million free agent contract with the Bruins, and the announced sellout crowd of 21,273 booed him whenever he touched the puck and chanted his name in derision.
Ryder was playing with Marc Savard and P.J. Axelsson on what will likely be the Bruins top line this season.
After a scoreless first, the Canadiens opened the second period on a 5-on-3 power play, with Boston’s Shane Hnidy serving an interference penalty and Jeremy Reich off for hooking and holding minors, and quickly grabbed a 2-0 lead.
Kovalev used Chara as a screen to blast a slap shot from the high slot past Fernandez for his first of the pre-season 26 seconds into the second period, and Brisebois converted a rebound off a Weber point shot at 1:08.
The Bruins remained undisciplined and Montreal took advantage. With Chara in the box for tripping, Latendresse jumping on a rebound in front for his first of the pre-season at 11:25 to make it 3-0 .
Chara made it a two-goal margin on a power play at 8:29 of the third, completing a nice tic-tac-toe play from Savard and Axelsson on a backdoor play.
Notes: Among the Bruins that didn’t dress were forwards Phil Kessel, Peter Schaefer and Petteri Nokelainen and defenceman Aaron Ward … For the Canadiens, forwards Maxim Lapierre, Sergei Kostitsyn and rookie hopefuls Max Pacioretty and Ben Maxwell didn’t dress, while defencemen Andrei Markov and Mike Komisarek also sat out. Defenceman Roman Hamrlik and winger Georges Laraque are both hampered by groin injuries .