Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - Carl Soderberg, Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic tallied in the second period as the Boston Bruins silenced the Montreal Canadiens, 4-1, at Bell Centre.
Zdeno Chara added a third-period marker for the Bruins, winners of six in a row and owners of a 13-point lead over idle Toronto in the Atlantic Division.
Tuukka Rask augmented his team's offense with 35 saves, and praised his skaters for helping lock up a key division victory.
"Despite the start, we played a solid game," the Finnish netminder said. "We took most of their opportunities away, and then capitalized on ours. It was a good road win, so we're happy where our game is headed."
David Desharnais supplied the lone score for the Canadiens, who have dropped three in a row and four of their last five to fall 14 points off the pace of their long-time rivals.
Peter Budaj stopped 28 shots in defeat, Montreal's first in its last six meetings with Boston.
"We played a good first period. Rask stood tall to keep his team in the game," said Habs head coach Michel Therrien. We made two big mistakes on their first two goals and it cost us. It's as simple as that. We have to learn how to respond better. This was a tough one to lose."
Soderberg's stuffer gave the B's the lead at 1:33 of the second period, and Bergeron beat Budaj in the slot from a 3-on-1 break just before the midway point of regulation to double the advantage.
It was 3-0 for the visitors when Lucic hit the back of the net with a wrister between Budaj's pads from the left circle 1:28 before intermission.
Only 23 seconds elapsed in the third before Boston assumed a four-goal edge, as Chara followed up his own rebound and scored from the left side.
Desharnais finally answered for the hosts with 2:46 played, but Rask shut the door from there, recording 12 stops until the final buzzer.
"We wanted to play to our strengths," noted Lucic. "That gave us momentum, especially in the second period. It's nice to get a win against these guys. It was a five-game losing streak before this one."
Rask came up big on a Max Pacioretty breakaway and also turned aside the rebound just after the eight-minute mark of the first.
He stopped 14 shots against a fired-up Canadiens offense in the scoreless opening 20 minutes, with Budaj having it easier on six chances.
The Bruins' last win over the Canadiens in Montreal was a 2-1 decision on Feb. 6, 2013 ... Thomas Vanek made his Habs debut against the Bruins, a team against which he enjoyed massive success as a member of the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders. The Austrian winger had totaled 61 points (30G, 31A) in 53 games against Boston prior to Wednesday, but was held to one assist and five shots on goal in 16:19 of ice time ... Despite the loss, the Canadiens are 16-8-1 against the Bruins since the start of 2009-10 season, including an 8-4-1 mark on home ice.