MONTREAL — A bad penalty by Jonathan Drouin in the dying minutes crushed Montreal’s comeback hopes.
With Drouin in the box for high-sticking, Boston’s John Moore scored a power-play goal to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory over the Canadiens on Saturday night in a hard-hitting and penalty-filled affair.
“You can’t take a penalty at that time of the game,” coach Claude Julien said. “If he [Drouin] said that it’s on him, well he’s right. You have to be disciplined. We can’t do those things if we want to win hockey games. “Montreal has lost four games in a row for the first time this season.
With less than six minutes remaining in a 2-2 contest, Drouin cross-checked David Backes in the face, cutting the Bruins winger below the bottom lip. The incident happened away from the run of play just minutes after the Canadiens came back from two goals down to equalize.
“He was coming at me,” Drouin said about Backes. “I didn’t mean to hit him in the face.”
Moore scored his first goal of the season on the four-minute power play, at 17:03 of the third, and the Bruins held on for their third win in four games.
“A four-minute power play with five minutes left in a tie game is certainly a good thing to have,” said Backes, who also scored and added an assist. “We made good on it. Kudos to the guys in here for staying with it. I don’t mind bleeding. Bleeding’s better than concussions to me. If that’s what it takes to win, I’ll take blood.”
Jake DeBrusk also scored, Tuukka Rask made 32 saves, and David Krejci had two assists.
Drouin and Tomas Tatar scored in the third period for Montreal, and Carey Price stopped 32 shots. The Canadiens have lost four straight.
Boston finished 1 for 6 with the man advantage, while Montreal was 1 for 5. Both teams combined for 30 penalty minutes.
It was the second game of a back-to-back series for both teams. Boston beat Pittsburgh 2-1 in overtime on Friday, while Montreal lost 3-2 in overtime in Buffalo.
The Bruins took a 1-0 lead at 13:01 of the first period when Backes swiped the puck from Jesperi Kotkaniemi at the Montreal blue line before beating Price glove side for his first goal of the season.
With the teams playing 4-on-4, DeBrusk doubled Boston’s lead at 14:42 when he got behind defenseman Brett Kulak and tapped in a beautiful pass from Torey Krug.
Drouin got one back for the home team at 6:46 for his ninth of the season. Drouin beat Krug with speed in the Boston zone before squeezing a shot between Rask’s pads.
Tatar got the equalizer for Montreal on the power play at 10:09 of the third. With David Pastrnak in the box for slashing, Tatar took a pass from Andrew Shaw from behind the net and roofed a one-timer past Rask.
The Bruins were without the injured Zdeno Chara (knee) and Patrice Bergeron (rib). … It was the second of four meetings between the Canadiens and Bruins this season.
Bruins: At Toronto on Monday night.
Canadiens: Host Carolina on Tuesday night.