BOSTON – Montreal’s games against the hated Boston Bruins don’t quite seem as nasty as they used to be.
Not with Boston flying high in the Eastern Conference standings, and the Canadiens currently out of the playoff picture and beset by off-ice distractions.
“They’ve got a lot going on right now, and I think their situation is a little bit different,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said Thursday night after Boston beat the embattled Canadiens 2-1.
“Right now, I think they’ve got other things on their minds. I haven’t felt the same energy, but yet the results of the game are very similar: When we do beat them, we don’t beat them by much, and vice versa. But certainly, it doesn’t have the same flare it had maybe a year ago.”
The Canadiens, who fired coach Jacques Martin in December, sent forward Michael Cammalleri back to the hotel after the second period on Thursday and announced after the game that he’s been traded to Calgary in a multi-player deal, with Rene Bourque coming the other way.
“Let’s be honest: They’re having their own difficulties over there,” Bruins goalies Tim Thomas said. “That’s probably affecting their willingness to get chippy. They probably don’t have a really good ‘team’ feeling down there.”
Jordan Caron and Milan Lucic scored, and Thomas stopped 33 shots to give the Bruins their third straight victory over Montreal.
Yannick Weber scored for the Canadiens and Carey Price made 28 saves for Montreal, which fell to 3-8 since Randy Cunneyworth took over as coach.
The Canadiens, who were shut out by St. Louis on Tuesday night, did not score until Weber cut the deficit to 2-0 on a screen shot past Thomas with 7:14 to play.
“I felt like if I saw the puck tonight, there was no way they were going to score,” Thomas said. “That’s why I was a little bit frustrated, because I didn’t think they were going to score.”
FLAMES 1, DUCKS 0 (OT)
CALGARY (AP)—Blair Jones scored his first goal with Calgary at 1:51 of overtime and Miikka Kiprusoff made 23 saves and the Flames beat Anaheim.
Kiprusoff improved to 20-14-2 on the season and earned his third shutout of the season and 43rd of his career, tying him for 27th on the career list with Lorne (Gump) Worsley.
Jones converted a rebound of his own shot and flipped the puck over Jonas Hiller for the win.
Jones was playing in his third game with the Flames since he was acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning on Jan. 6.
SENATORS 3, RANGERS 0
NEW YORK (AP)—Craig Anderson made 34 saves for his first shutout of the season, Jason Spezza scored twice, and Ottawa beat the surging Rangers.
Milan Michalek also scored for the Senators, who have won five straight at Madison Square Garden and seven of eight there (7-0-1).
New York (27-10-4), which entered with the most points in the NHL, had won five straight and 10 of 11.
Anderson’s seventh career shutout came nearly two years after Ottawa’s winning streak began in New York with a 2-0 victory on Jan. 14, 2010. Ottawa became one of the last teams to register a shutout this season. The Chicago Blackhawks and New York Islanders are the only remaining teams without one.
Henrik Lundqvist made 21 saves for the Rangers, who had their fourth winning streak of at least five games stopped.
FLYERS 3, ISLANDERS 2
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP)—Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 33 shots, and Philadelphia beat the New York Islanders for the 26th time in 28 games.
Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier scored for the Flyers (26-12-4), who moved within two points of the Atlantic Division-leading New York Rangers. Kyle Okposo and John Tavares scored for the Islanders.
The Flyers (26-12-4) have won 12 of 13 on Long Island during their dominant run against the Islanders. New York (15-20-6) had won three straight at home, including a 5-1 victory over Detroit on Tuesday.
Bobrovsky stopped Michael Grabner on a penalty shot 2:49 in and made a spectacular glove save on the Islanders right wing late in the second. The 23-year-old Russian has tormented the Islanders since joining the Flyers before last season, going 7-0 against New York.
RED WINGS 3, COYOTES 2, SO
DETROIT (AP)—Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg scored in the shootout, and Detroit beat Phoenix for its 13th straight home win.
Valtteri Filppula, Johan Franzen scored in regulation for the Red Wings, who moved within one home win of matching the team’s best streak. Jimmy Howard stopped 25 shots to earn his 100th career NHL win.
Radim Vrbata, Taylor Pyatt scored regulation goals for Phoenix, and Vrbata added one in the shootout. Mike Smith made 40 saves.
HURRICANES 5, LIGHTNING 2
TAMPA, Fla. (AP)—Jiri Tlusty had two goals and an assist, Tuomo Ruutu added a goal and two assists, and Carolina defeated Tampa Bay.
Tlusty scored twice during Carolina’s four-goal first, helping the Hurricanes take a 4-1 lead. Jay Harrison and Tim Brent also scored for the Hurricanes, who had lost four of five. Eric Staal had three assists, giving him 301 in his NHL career.
Tampa Bay got goals from Nate Thompson and Teddy Purcell, but the Lightning dropped their fifth straight (0-4-1).
CANUCKS 3, BLUES 2, OT
ST. LOUIS (AP)—Daniel Sedin scored a power-play goal 46 seconds into overtime to give Vancouver a victory over St. Louis in a matchup for first place in the Western Conference.
Alexandre Burrows had two goals and drew the decisive penalty for the Canucks, who have an NHL-best 59 points—three more than St. Louis. David Backes was whistled for boarding with 19.9 seconds to go in regulation, and the Blues were in disarray in overtime after defenceman Roman Polak broke his stick shortly before Sedin beat Brian Elliott from the right faceoff dot.
Jason Arnott scored both goals for the Blues, who lead the Central Division by a point despite the end of a four-game winning streak.
PREDATORS 3, AVALANCHE 2, OT
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)—David Legwand scored his second goal of the game at 4:26 of overtime, and Nashville rallied from a two-goal, first-period deficit to beat Colorado.
Legwand scored the winner on a rebound of his own shot.
The Predators have won seven straight over Colorado and nine of 10 overall in the series, dating to Feb. 4, 2010.
Legwand started the comeback with a goal in the second period, and Sergei Kostitsyn tied it in the third. Nashville has won three straight and six of seven.
Ryan O’Reilly had a goal and an assist, and Gabriel Landeskog added a goal for Colorado.
The Avalanche outshot Nashville 15-7 in the first period, but the Predators held a 35-29 edge for the game.
BLACKHAWKS 5, WILD 2
CHICAGO (AP)—Dave Bolland had two goals, and rookie Jimmy Hayes and Viktor Stalberg scored 23 seconds apart in a three-goal second period as Chicago beat Minnesota.
Bolland scored on the power play in the second and added an empty-net goal with 1:26 to play. Another Blackhawks rookie, Andrew Shaw, also had a goal.
Devin Setoguchi had the game’s first goal for Minnesota, and Kyle Brodziak added a rebound tally in the third period for the Wild.
SHARKS 2, JETS 0
WINNIPEG (AP)—Logan Couture and Brad Winchester scored, and Antti Niemi made 24 saves for his second shutout of the season in San Jose’s victory over Winnipeg.
Couture scored at 13:36 of the second period, and Winchester made it 2-0 early in the third for the Sharks, who have won five of six. Couture scored for the second straight game.
Ondrej Pavelec faced 37 shots in his 36th start of the season, but the Jets lost for the fourth time in five games.
San Jose, which has earned 11 of 12 points in January, leads the Pacific Division.
STARS 5, KINGS 4 (SO)
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Loui Eriksson scored twice and then added the deciding goal in a shootout to help Dallas rally for a victory over the Kings.
Eriksson tied the game 4-4 on a power-play goal at 14:35 of the third period. He tried to centre the puck in front of the net, and the Kings’ Willie Mitchell inadvertently knocked it in when he tried to clear it.
Eriksson, the Stars’ second shooter, pushed the puck over the goal line as goalie Jonathan Quick fell over. Trevor Lewis then failed to connect for the Kings.
Kari Lehtonen made 37 saves to earn his 150th NHL victory. Quick stopped 34 shots for the Kings.
Jack Johnson and Dustin Brown scored consecutive power-play goals to give the Kings a 4-3 lead in the third period.