Montreal Canadiens\' Tomas Plekanec, left, scores against Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, right, during the second period. (AP/Chitose Suzuki)
Tomas Plekanec and Chris Higgins each had a goal and two assists to lift the Montreal Canadiens to a 6-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Thursday night. "Plekanec's goal at the end of the second was huge," Higgins said. "To get us within one coming into the third period makes a big difference." Montreal scored five unanswered goals in the last 22 minutes of the game and swept the home-and-home series after shutting out Boston 1-0 Tuesday.
"Our forwards were great in the third," said Canadiens goalie Jaroslav Halak, who made 32 saves. "They kept the pressure on and we were able to find ways to score."
Trailing 3-1, Plekanec cut the Bruins' lead with 1:49 left in the second period when he flipped the puck past Bruins goalie Tim Thomas.
Mike Johnson, Maxim Lapierre and Higgins put the game away when they each scored 2:16 apart in the third period to take a 5-3 lead with 11:09 remaining in the game. The Canadiens also got goals from Andrei Markov and Michael Ryder.
"It seems like we've done this a few times this year," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said. "Tonight, we just got lucky after the way we played in the first and second period."
Phil Kessel, Marco Sturm and Mark Mowers scored for the Bruins, who lost their third straight.
"We took too many unnecessary penalties and made too many mental mistakes," Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said.
Montreal scored three power-play goals in winning for the fifth time in the last six games, but won for only the second time in its last eight road games.
Kessel gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead when he gathered the rebound of his own shot and slid the puck past Halak 2:09 into the game. Kessel's goal snapped a drought of 143:25 for Boston, which had been shut out the previous two games by the New York Rangers and Canadiens.
"It's hard to have fun when you are losing," Thomas said. "This should have been an exciting game for us. We are so uptight that we are not allowing ourselves to have fun."
After Markov tied the game 1-1 at 7:23, Sturm converted a feed from Brandon Bochenski to help Boston regain the lead with 2:27 left in the first.
Mowers made it 3-1 for Boston when he tapped in Kessel's pass past a helpless Halak 7:32 into the second period.
Saku Koivu had two assists for Montreal.
Notes: Boston has been shut out three straight games just once in its history - in 1929. ... Alex Kovalev has 51 points in 59 games against Boston. ... Markov has six goals but two in the last four games. ... Boston and Montreal combined for 32 shots on goal in the second period.