MONTREAL (AP) - The Montreal Canadiens are getting back their swagger. The slumping Boston Bruins are still trying to find theirs.
Brian Gionta and David Desharnais scored power-play goals and Carey Price made 26 saves as Montreal extended its winning streak to three with a 4-2 win over the Bruins on Saturday night.
Lars Eller and Tomas Plekanec also scored for the Canadiens, who won 2-1 in Boston on Thursday night. Montreal improved to 4-5-2 after winning only one of its first eight games.
``I think our guys are pretty confident again,' Price said. ``I think that's all it took was just a couple of wins. Now the guys are all excited to go to the rink again. When you're losing, it's not fun. Everything's gloom and doom so winning solves everything.'
The Canadiens' winning streak began after assistant coach Perry Pearn was fired Wednesday prior to the team's 5-1 win over Philadelphia.
Head coach Jacques Martin, who also had Pearn on his staff with Ottawa from 1996-2004, said his team still needs to get better.
``We've made a little progress,' Martin said. ``There's still a lot of work to be done, but it's encouraging to have gone out and picked up six of eight points this week.'
Tyler Seguin scored with 54.4 seconds remaining to draw the Bruins within one. Milan Lucic also scored for the reigning Stanley Cup champions, who lost their third in a row. Tuukka Rask stopped 23 shots in his third start.
The crowd of 21,273 booed when Tim Thomas replaced Rask after Seguin's goal, allowing head coach Claude Julien to buy his players a brief rest. Plekanec scored into an empty net with 12 seconds left.
Boston, which eliminated the Canadiens in the first round last spring, is off to a 3-7 start and is last in the Eastern Conference.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said he has ``no doubt' that he and his teammates will recover.
``I believe in this team. I know what we have,' Chara said. ``I know we are in a deep hole but if anybody can get out of it, it's this team.'
Boston was being outshot 9-3 when Brad Marchand hit the left post with a wrist shot from the top of the slot at 13:46.
Gionta made it 1-0 at 15:26 with his second goal on Montreal's first power-play opportunity. The Canadiens' captain deflected Plekanec's slap shot from just inside the blue line past Rask.
Eller made it 2-0 at 16:42 when he sent a wrist shot over Rask's glove from the left faceoff circle for his first of the season.
Desharnais scored his second goal on another man advantage 12:24 into the second to increase the lead to 3-0. Desharnais scored off a scramble in front with 2 seconds left in the second of overlapping minors against Boston that gave Montreal a brief two-man advantage.
A turnover in the Canadiens' zone led to Lucic's goal at 16:28. Nathan Horton stripped the puck off Eller as the Montreal center tried to carry the puck up the middle and fed a pass to Lucic, who drove a slap shot past Price for his third goal.
Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban goaded Lucic into taking a slashing penalty behind the play at 18:51.
``Well, we had number 63 (Marchand) last year who was getting under everybody's skin and we thought he did a great job at that, of goading people into taking penalties and frustrating them,' Julien said. ``Whether P.K. does that job, if he did it tonight, he did it well. I don't discredit him for doing his job.
``If we're not smart enough to take that responsibility not to get goaded in, that's our problem.'
The Bruins enjoyed a 56-second 5-on-3 advantage early in the third. Martin used his timeout after Gionta was called for tripping 2:09 into the third with Eller already in the penalty box.
Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges sprawled across the left side of the crease to deny Lucic a scoring chance.
Another undisciplined penalty ended the rest of the Bruins' power play when Horton was sent off for cross-checking Hal Gill shortly after the Montreal defenseman blocked him out in front of the net.
``I don't think guys really want to take some bad penalties, it's just the way it's happening,' Chara said. ``There are a lot of emotions involved in these games and sometimes guys do things that are just automatic. I'm sure that if you would ask them they would take those things back. It's O.K. to play with emotions but you have to be smart about it.'
NOTES: The Bruins have scored two goals or fewer eight times this season, including seven of their past eight games. ... Canadiens LW Mathieu Darche played his 200th game. ... Montreal returned RW Aaron Palushaj to AHL Hamilton earlier in the day.
The Associated Press News Service
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