By Danny Picard
BOSTON -- It took eight Boston goals and just as many total fights, but the Bruins were able to take care of the rival Montreal Canadiens, 8-6, on Wednesday night at the TD Garden, securing their Northeast Division lead.
The Bruins took a 2-0 lead into the second period, after getting goals from Brad Marchand and Dennis Seidenberg 12 seconds apart in the first, but the second period saw a total of eight goals four for Boston and four for Montreal.
Brian Gionta and P.K. Subban tied the game at 2-2, but Adam McQuaid quickly put the Bruins back on top, 3-2, with an open look from the high slot, just 1:18 after Subban had tied the game.
It didnt take long for Yannick Weber to tie the game at 3-3 with a slap shot from the right point, but once again, the Bruins answered, thanks to goals from Michael Ryder and Lucic, just one minute apart, giving the Bs a 5-3 lead.
The second period also saw a complete, every-player-on-the-ice melee with 7:24 left in the period a mere five seconds after Lucics goal that put Boston up 5-3. It concluded with Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas skating all the way down to Montreals zone, and dropping the gloves with Canadiens goaltender Carey Price.
It wasnt much of a fight, as only one punch was thrown by Price and Montreal converted on its 5-on-4 power play following the 6-on-6 brawl, and cut Bostons lead to 5-4, just 11 seconds into the man advantage, thanks to a goal from David Desharnais, who took beat Thomas with a shot from the goal line.
But Milan Lucic answered just two minutes later, and scored his second goal of the game on a wrister from the high slot that beat Price to the top-left, giving the Bs a 6-4 lead heading into the third period.
Max Pacioretty cut the Bruins lead to 6-5, seven minutes into the third, sniping the top-right corner from the slot, while on a 5-on-4 power play.
But as the theme of the night went, Ryder made it 7-5 midway through the third, scoring his second goal of the night, while on the power play.
Nathan Horton added Bostons eighth goal with 5:06 left in the game, after sniping the top-left corner from the right circle.
Pacioretty scored with 13.9 seconds left to make it 8-6, just seconds after another 5-on-5 brawl.
Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard. You can listen to Danny on his streaming radio show I'm Just Sayin' Monday-Friday from 9-10 a.m. on CSNNE.com.