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From the drop of the puck, each and every member of the Montreal Canadiens was ready to beat the Boston Bruins, again.
Tom Kostopoulos scored 14 seconds into the game and Maxim Lapierre got Montreal's fourth goal of the opening period with 3 seconds remaining, sending the Canadiens on to a 8-2 win over Boston on Tuesday night.
Montreal extended its winning streak against the Bruins to nine games, including its first six this season.
Andrei Kostitsyn, who also scored in the first, got his second goal of the game on a power play 17:44 into the third as Montreal set a season high for goals.
Michael Ryder also scored for Montreal in the first as each of the Canadiens' four lines contributed a goal against Alex Auld, who only stopped three of seven shots.
"I thought all four lines clicked well and played well and we worked hard and got some bounces,'' Kostopoulos said. "It was nice to get everyone involved.''
Bryan Smolinski and Mike Komisarek added goals in the second against Tim Thomas, who replaced Auld to begin the second.
Alex Kovalev scored a power-play goal in the third to make it 7-1 as the Canadiens matched their season high for goals, reaching seven for the second time against Boston, and third time overall this season.
"We had a couple of good bounces to start off and all of a sudden it was 4-1,'' said Montreal goalie Cristobal Huet, who made 29 saves. "We played great and everything went our way. We had good bounces but we worked for it. The guys were putting everything in tonight.''
The Canadiens, who went 5-3-0 against Boston last year, have outscored the Bruins 21-7 in three games at the Bell Centre this season, including a 7-4 win on Nov. 17, the team's second seven-goal game of the season, and a 6-1 win on Oct. 22.
"I've been on the other side of those things so at the end of the day it's just two points, it doesn't matter whether it's in overtime or whatever,'' Smolinski said. "It's a very good team over there. I'm sure we'll see a different team the next time we see them but our team played very well tonight.''
Marco Sturm scored his 16th goal midway through the first to draw the Bruins to 2-1. Petteri Nokelainen added a power-play goal 13:17 into the third.
Boston, which had gone 3-0-1 since a 5-2 loss to the Canadiens on Jan. 10, failed to record a standings point for the first time in five games.
"We gave up eight goals on 24 shots, I think that explains a lot,'' Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "You're not going to win games by giving up those types of goals. A lot of breakdowns and maybe some lucky bounces off legs. It's just one of those nights where you've got to be a little better, more resilient and find ways to be more concentrated on winning hockey games.''
Thomas made 13 saves over the final two periods.
Kostopoulos opened the scoring when he spun around at the right circle and shot a loose puck towards the net, even though he had no idea there was a wide open right side.
"No, I didn't realize that,'' Kostopoulos said. "That's just one of (assistant coach) Kirk Muller's drills that we do and put it on net, so I just spun around and put in on the net.''
Ryder, who was reunited with linemates Saku Koivu and Christopher Higgins, redirected Koivu's shot past Auld at 3:12 to make it 2-0.
After Sturm drew scored at 12:09, Kostitsyn got his 13th goal at 16:44 to restore Montreal's two-goal lead at 3-1.
Lapierre drew the sold-out crowd of 21,273 out of its seats one more time in the waning seconds of the opening period when he drove a slap shot past Auld and under the crossbar at 19:57.
Smolinski scored his third goal 5:45 into the second and Komisarek made it a 6-1 lead 1:19 later when he beat Thomas from the slot for his fourth goal.
This program aired on January 23, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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