Habs topped by Bruins
The Canadiens threw 32 shots at Tim Thomas on Saturday night.
BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Bruins put together a performance vastly different from their last game.
Glen Murray scored his team-leading 28th goal, and Tim Thomas made 16 of his 31 saves in the third period to lead the Bruins to a 3-1 win over Montreal on Saturday.
Petr Tenkrat and Brandon Bochenski also scored for the Bruins, who snapped a three-game losing streak and moved six points behind eighth-place Carolina in a crowded race for the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot.
Two nights ago, Bruins coach Dave Lewis was frustrated after his team gave up 55 shots on goal in an overtime loss to the Flyers, calling the performance "totally ridiculous."
"They're not machines," Lewis said after Saturday's win. "As much as you'd like to stick a key in and have them run the same way every game, that's not going to happen. That's for the coaches to figure out."
Lewis started that process in practice on Friday, having some on-ice meetings.
"I don't know if those were necessary or not," he said. "We had to play a better game against Montreal or we'd be in the same boat."
Sheldon Souray scored his 23rd goal for Montreal, which lost its third straight and fourth in five to remain one point behind the Hurricanes.
Montreal has struggled lately, but coach Guy Carbonneau knows there's plenty of time left to turn things around.
"That stage was about a couple of weeks ago," he said of his team's need to start winning. "That's the bad part, but the good part is we're still right there. There's still enough games to turn this around."
Jaroslav Halak made 33 saves for Montreal in his sixth career start after being called up from Hamilton of the AHL on Feb. 14. Starting goaltender Cristobal Huet is out for the rest of the regular season with a left hamstring injury.
Thomas was tested often in the final period, making a pair of stops on Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Kostitsyn seconds apart with just under 12 minutes left.
Murray's goal, a wrister from the slot, made it 3-1 with 4:09 to play.
"We had plenty of chances to tie the game when it was 2-1," Montreal winger Mike Johnson said. "A lot of chances around the net, but their goaltender played well."
The Bruins controlled play for extended periods before grabbing a 1-0 lead on Tenkrat's goal 3:30 into the second.
"We really didn't focus on the last game because there's not much you can do about it," Thomas said. "There was talk that we're going to have a good crowd against Montreal so we've to be ready to go."
Tenkrat fired a slap shot from just outside the right circle and the puck caromed off the stick of defenseman Souray, knuckling over the right shoulder of Halak.
Bochenski made it 2-0 with 1:03 left in the second. He collected a loose puck at center ice, broke in down the left wing and slipped a wrister inside the left post.
Souray's shot ricocheted off defenseman Andrew Ference's stick and past Thomas 3:02 into the third period.
The best chance of a scoreless first period came when Halak made a nice left pad save with 3:16 left on Shean Donovan, who broke in alone from the right wing.
Halak also stopped three booming slap shots from the point by Zdeno Chara in the final minutes while the Bruins were on a power play.
Notes: Thomas was coming off a career-best 51-save performance in the 4-3 overtime loss to the Flyers Thursday. ... A large contingent of Canadiens fans, filling a good portion of the east end of the building, broke into chants of `Go Habs Go' numerous times. ... Montreal played the third of five games in 12 days away from home, and travels to Atlanta and St. Louis before returning home against the Islanders on March 13.