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Habs outlast Bruins, take division lead

Boston, MA (Sports Network) - David Desharnais' second goal of the night came just prior to the midway point of the third period and was the game winner, as the Montreal Canadiens vaulted into first place in the Northeast Division with a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden.

Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty added tallies for the Canadiens, who have not lost in regulation over their last 11 contests (8-0-3) and recovered nicely from a 7-6 home overtime defeat to Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Brendan Gallagher posted two assists to back a 31-save performance from Peter Budaj.

Patrice Bergeron finished with a goal and two helpers for the Bruins, whose six-game win streak was halted thanks to their second home loss of the season.

Tyler Seguin added a goal and Brad Marchand recorded three assists, but Tuukka Rask allowed four scores on 26 shots in defeat as Boston -- which had held the top spot from the outset of the year -- dropped two points behind Montreal.

The Canadiens forged a 3-3 deadlock with 5 1/2 minutes played in the third, as a Pacioretty wrister from the point found the back of the net despite traffic in front.

It was 4-3 at 9:17 when Montreal crowded the Boston crease and Pacioretty's poke into the blue paint from behind the net was picked up by Desharnais for an easy score over a prone Rask.

The Bruins went with an extra skater for the final 1:10 of play, and Budaj preserved the win by closing off the left post as Seguin uncorked a one-timer in the final seconds.

Seconds into an interference call to Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference, Plekanec cruised through the slot and partially whiffed on a P.K. Subban pass, but got enough of the puck to push it past Rask for a 1-0 Habs lead at 9:57 of the opening period.

Just 50 seconds later, Seguin evened the score, but 16 seconds after that, Montreal regained a 2-1 edge after Desharnais overpowered Rask from the high slot.

Boston evened the score at 4:06 of the second. Seguin and Bergeron broke loose for a 2-on-1, and the former dished from the left wing to the latter, who kicked the pass into Budaj. However, Bergeron was able to get his stick on the rebound and push it home.

Doug Hamilton put the hosts on top at 9:20, when he one-timed a rolling puck home from above the goal line to Budaj's left, then the B's held strong during a two-man disadvantage for 70 seconds a short time later.

Game Notes

Montreal has won six of its last 10 games at Boston ... Desharnais notched his second multi-goal effort of the season, and first since Feb. 2 against Buffalo ... Marchand's three assists were a career high ... Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was given a minor for instigation, a fighting major and misconduct at the 15:35 mark of the second period for engaging Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin in a scrap ... Sunday's contest marked the first night game in Boston on a Sunday between these storied rivals since the Bruins claimed a 7-2 victory on Oct. 13, 1985.

03/03 22:56:18 ET