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Gionta, Price lift Montreal over Boston

Dec 17, 2010 - 5:27 AM Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Brian Gionta notched the game-winner late in the second period and Carey Price stopped 34-of-37 shots as Montreal clipped Boston, 4-3, at Bell Centre.

Mike Cammalleri, Max Pacioretty and Maxim Lapierre also tallied for the Canadiens, who snapped a three-game slide just in time to kick off a seven-game road trip at Colorado on Sunday.

"Right off the bat, a quality chance turned into a penalty shot and that helps," Gionta admitted. "We were moving the puck well tonight, and we had a lot of good chances. It's working well with Pacioretty on this line."

Price, who allowed a season-high five goals in a loss to the Flyers on Wednesday, recovered to halt a personal two-game losing skid.

Marc Savard posted a goal and one assist for the Bruins, who have lost three straight for the first time all season. Blake Wheeler and Milan Lucic also hit the net, but Tim Thomas allowed four goals on 41 shots for his first regulation loss since November 26.

Montreal moved ahead by a 4-2 count at 16:54 of the second period when a seemingly-harmless shovel pass by Pacioretty to the Boston net deflected in off Gionta's skate.

Boston put a scare into the home team and drew within 4-3 on a power play with 4:50 left in regulation when Patrice Bergeron's right-point shot floated in traffic, hit Lucic and went in.

Thomas was sent to the bench with just over a minute to go before the buzzer, then again with roughly 30 seconds remaining, but the Bruins failed to net an equalizer.

"Our team battled hard in the second and third, but a couple of bad bounces and that was the game," said Savard.

The Canadiens were awarded a penalty shot just 64 seconds into the contest as Cammalleri was interrupted on a breakaway, and the forward roofed his chance over a diving Thomas for a 1-0 game.

Montreal went up by two at 6:24 when Lapierre settled a puck in front, wheeled to his left and scored to the forehand.

Boston halved its deficit with 4:08 to play as Wheeler banked a rolling puck off Price's arm from behind the net, but the Habs went up 3-1 on a power play with 30 seconds left as Pacioretty's reverse centering pass deflected off a Bruins defenseman and slid in.

Savard's mid-air tip in of an Andrew Ference point shot pulled the Bruins within one at 6:54 of the second period.

Game Notes

For Cammalleri, it was his first career penalty shot in 460 NHL games over seven-plus seasons...Prior to the contest, the Canadiens assigned forward Dustin Boyd to Hamilton of the AHL...Montreal has beaten Boston in seven of the last eight meetings since the start of last season...Bruins forward Michael Ryder played in his 500th career game...Montreal's next home game does not take place until January 2 when Atlanta comes to Bell for a Sunday matinee...Boston welcomes Washington on Saturday to begin a three-game homestand.