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Bruins fall short in Montreal vs. Habs 4-3

The Bruins dug themselves a big hole by giving up three first period goals on Thursday night as they fell to the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 at the Bell Centre. The Bruins clawed back to make it a one-goal game late in the third period, but could not overcome the early deficit.

Mike Cammalleri was given a penalty shot 1:04 into the game on a marginal hooking call on Zdeno Chara and Cammalleri took advantage of the opportunity and gave his team a 1-0 lead. Cammalleri deked Tim Thomas right out of his skates and tucked the puck past the flailing goaltender for his 11th goal of the season.

Maxim Lapierre made it 2-0 Montreal just 6:24 into the game. Mathieu Darche's pass from the left point found Lapierre in the slot. Tim Thomas got a piece of Lapierre's wrister, but could not keep the puck out of the net.

Blake Wheeler cut the Habs' lead to 2-1 with 4:08 left in the first period. Patrice Bergeron sent a pass from behind the goal line on the left wing to Wheeler along the goal line on the other side of the net. Wheeler's shot snuck past Carey Price on the near side for #26's 7th marker of the season.

Montreal struck for the third time with 29.9 seconds left in the first period just moments after the Bruins killed off a roughing minor on Gregory Campbell. Max Pacioretty had the puck along the goal line on the right wing. Pacioretty looked like he was trying to thread a centering pass through the crease, but the puck deflected off the skate of Andrew Ference as he dropped down to one knee to defend the pass and the puck trickled past Tim Thomas for the 3-1 first period lead.

Marc Savard's first goal of the year 6:54 into the second period pulled the B's to with one. Savard was stationed at the right circle and got a stick on Andrew Ference's shot from the right point to deflect the puck past Carey Price.

In uncharacteristic fashion, David Krejci dropped the gloves with Mike Cammalleri 11:31 into the middle period. Cammalleri laid a hit on Krejci along the boards and knocked Krejci's stick away. Krejci looked like he offer to drop 'em with Cammalleri annd the pair both shed the mittens and squared off. Both fighters sized each other up before getting after it. Both combatants landed a few shots, including a right by Krejci that opened up a cut on Cammalleri. After a few punches, it turned it a grappling match and Cammalleri wrestled Krejci to the ice. The scrap was the first NHL fight for both Krejci and Cammalleri.

Montreal made it 4-2 on a goal from Brian Gionta. Max Pacioretty threw the puck into the slot from the left wing boards and Gionta batted the puck out of the air and past Tim Thomas after the puck appeared to deflected off Dennis Seidenberg.

With the Bruins on the power play with 4:50 left in the third period, Milan Lucic made it a one-goal game when he deflected Patrice Bergeron's shot past Carey Price for his team-leading 16th goal of the season.

Final - 12.16.2010 1 2 3 Total
Boston Bruins 1 1 1 3
Montreal Canadiens 3 1 0 4

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- If you read my stuff, you know that I am not normally someone who bashes the refs, but I was completely confused by the penalty shot call in the first period. Cammalleri did not have a clear breakaway and the hook from Chara didn't seem to slow him up much. The stick lift by Kampfer is what slowed him up. That was an awful call and it set the tone for the game.

- David Krejci recorded his first NHL fighting major. According to, Krejci's last (and only) pro fight was 11/24/07 as a member of the P-Bruins against T.J. Fox of the Worcester Sharks.

- Tyler Seguin was back in the lineup after being scratched the last two games.

- Claude Julien finally shortened his bench as the game went on. The fourth line had been seeing regular shifts lately, but the "Merlot Line" was scaled back significantly tonight. Shawn Thornton, Brad Marchand, and Gregory Campbell each logged between 7 and 9 minutes of ice time.

- The teams combined for 78 shots. The Habs outshot the B's 41-37

- The Bruins return to action on Saturday night when they host the Washington Capitals. You what that means? B's on HBO's "24/7 Penguins Capitals"!

- For more on tonight's game, check out Habs Eyes On The Prize...They actually write about things that happened within the past 80 years now. Novel concept.