MONTREAL – Tom Kostopoulos, Andrei Kostitsyn and Guillaume Latendresse scored in the second period as the Montreal Canadiens’ mastery of the Boston Bruins continued with a 7-4 win on Saturday night.
Saku Koivu scored in the first period, while Roman Hamrlik, Mike Komisarek and Alex Kovalev added goals in the third as the Canadiens (11-5-3) beat Boston (9-7-2) for the six straight time, including three times in as many meetings this season.
Glen Murray, with two, Zdeno Chara and Marco Sturm scored for Boston to end a two-game winning run.
Montreal outshot Boston 52-36 in an end-to-end game in which several players broke scoring slumps and others were stopped by busy goalies Carey Price, who improved to 5-1-1 as a rookie, and Tim Thomas, who started an 11th straight game for Boston.
The game degenerated into fights in the third period after Montreal took a 6-3 lead and Jeremy Reich tripped Price. After big defenceman Mark Stuart pounded Kostitsyn, Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau had to be pulled back by assistant Kirk Muller from a shouting match with Boston coach Claude Julien.
And Chara was slapped with 19 minutes in penalties with only 5:34 left to play after elbowing Alex Kovalev’s head into the glass, then instigating a fight with Latendresse.
The pace was quick from the outset and each team scored in the opening 3:27.
Koivu ended a six-game goal drought when he banged in Michael Ryder’s rebound on a power play at 2:40.
After Kovalev rang a shot off the goalpost, the Bruins had an odd-man rush and Marc Savard set up Murray for a medium-speed shot that fooled Price. It was only the second goal of the season for Murray and his first in 14 games.
Kyle Chipchura’s checking set up Kostopoulos for a shorthanded goal 1:19 into the second frame but Chara got it back with his first of the season on a bullet drive from the right side at 3:11.
Kostitsyn picked the top corner on a rush at 4:49 on a power play but Sturm answered with his own on a man advantage at 10:43 on a one-timer from point blank in front of Price.
Latendresse, with his first in six games, had two cracks at the puck at the side of the net to put Montreal ahead 4-3 with 2:30 left in the period.
Hamrlik banked a shot in off Aaron Ward 4:23 into the third and Komisarek’s point shot beat Thomas at 10:15.
Murray got his second of the game at 11:07 with a quick shot off a faceoff but Kovalev got it back on a power play at 14:12.
Notes – It was Montreal’s first 50-shot game since they had 50 against Buffalo on April 1, 1996. … Patrice Brisebois sat out and Josh Gorges played for Montreal. … Bruins defenceman Andrew Ference came back from an upper body injury for one game and now is out again with a sprained knee.