Is there anything more rare in the NHL these days than a regulation win by the Montreal Canadiens?
How about a goal by the Boston Bruins? Or a victory by Canadiens goaltender Carey Price?
Well, Boston finally found the net Thursday night, but it was Price who got the last laugh after stopping three Bruins in the shootout for a 2-1 win, his first since Oct. 3 against Buffalo.
Patrice Bergeron buried a rebound past Price at 19:08 of the third period to force overtime and halt Boston's goalless streak at 192 minutes six seconds. The Bruins hadn't scored in nearly three full contests, dating back to Vladimir Sobotka's third-period goal against Edmonton's Nikolai Khabibulin in a 2-0 win on Saturday.
"I hadn't won in six games, and that was not the time to get upset," Price said of Bergeron's goal. "I had to refocus in a hurry because if I let it slip, then I lose another game."
Price finished with 42 saves in regulation and overtime for his third win of the season, and first since the opening week of the season in early October.
Mike Cammalleri beat Bruins netminder Tim Thomas with a low glove-side shot for the lone shootout goal to raise Montreal's record to 7-0 this season in overtime and shootouts and 8-8-0 overall.
Sad streak ends
Thursday's win snapped Montreal's nine-game losing streak against the Bruins, who swept the Canadiens in a four-game playoff series last spring.
Blake Wheeler, Mark Recchi and Bergeron were denied in the shootout by Price, who ended a personal six-game slide and gained a measure of revenge after a poor 2009 playoffs performance.
Canadiens head coach Jacques Martin gave Price the nod in Boston with Jaroslav Halak nursing a minor groin injury. Martin then watched his goalie preserve a 1-0 lead in the second period with a 17-save effort.
Price's shutout bid appeared to have ended with 2:25 left in the period when Marco Sturm put the puck on Price's stick and Bergeron, trailing the play, poked it in. The goal was put on the board but disallowed after the video review.
The 22-year-old Price made a pretty blocker save on Wheeler with two minutes left in the period and denied Sturm with less than a minute left on the clock.
Price was equally strong with 67 seconds remaining in regulation and Bruins goalie Tim Thomas pulled for an extra attacker. He stopped Bergeron's redirect from the high slot and then turned away Sturm on the rebound.
Earlier in the third period, Boston had a great chance to tie the game 1-1 but its struggles on the power play continued. The Bruins entered Thursday's game last in the 30-team NHL with the man-advantage and hasn't scored in 20 consecutive opportunites over seven games after going 0-for-3 versus Montreal.
"At least it's out of our heads now," Bergeron said. "It's one step forward to get that goal and get that point. But one point is not good enough."
Boston had not been shut out in three straight games since Eddie Shore and the 1928-29 squad — which went on to earn Boston's first Stanley Cup title — scored just once over five games from Feb. 2 to 14, 1929.
The 6-7-2 Bruins earned a point against the Canadiens for the eighth straight game, and Montreal has not won in Boston in regulation since the end of the 2007-08 campaign.
With Price unbeatable for much of the night, it appeared as though Glen Metropolit's third goal of the season at 17:32 of the first period would hold up.
The play started with Andrei Kostitsyn taking advantage of a collision between Bruins defenceman Dennis Wideman and a teammate.
Streaking down the wing, he rounded the net and slid a pass to an uncovered Metropolit, who tapped the puck into an open net for his seventh point in eight starts since returning from a rib injury.
The Canadiens return home for two games, starting Saturday against Quebec native Vincent Lecavalier and the Tampa Bay Lightning (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).