Brad Marchand and the Boston Bruins forced overtime and then won in a shootout in their first game against their former coach — Claude Julien of rival the Montreal Canadiens.
But the Bruins were more interested in keeping their unbeaten string alive than sending any message to the coach who led them to the 2011 Stanley Cup.
“It’s different, but this was just another game,” said Marchand, who scored in regulation time and got the game-winner in the fourth round of the shootout. “We did a good job and look forward to the next one.”
The win stretched Boston’s streak to 12 games (9-0-3) and left them 12-1-3 in their last 16 outings.
They had to come back twice to do it, as Montreal took an early lead on a goal by Max Pacioretty. Marchand and Jake DeBrusk put the Bruins ahead, but the Canadiens grabbed the lead back through Nicolas Deslauriers and Alex Galchenyuk before David Krejci forced overtime with a goal at 17:42 of the third.
Bruins came up big ‘when it mattered’
“We seem to be able to show that character,” said Marchand. “It was great to see the guys battle back.
“We didn’t have a great game but we dug down and capitalized when it mattered.”
It was Julien’s first game against his former team since he was fired by Boston last Feb. 7, only to be hired by the Canadiens a week later.
The Bruins outshot Montreal 29-25 in regulation time and 32-30 overall in the first of three meetings between the clubs over an eight-day span. They play again Wednesday in Boston and next Saturday in Montreal.
The Canadiens (18-20-5) are 2-0-1 in their last three games.
Danault takes shot to head
There was a scary moment at 18:23 of the second period when a Zdeno Chara point shot hit Phillip Danault in the side of the head. The 24-year-old Canadiens centre was attended to by medical staff on the ice for about five minutes before being taken away on a stretcher.