NHL

Canadiens hand rare defeat to division-leading Bruins in Chara's 1,500th game

Defenceman Victor Mete scored twice in a 5-4 win as the Montreal Canadiens handed the division-leading Boston Bruins a rare defeat on Tuesday night.

Boston's win streak halted at 6

Montreal Canadiens' Paul Byron, left, celebrates his goal against the visiting Boston Bruins with teammate Artturi Lehkonen during the first period on Tuesday. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

A controversial video review left Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy seeing red.

An overturned goal on a coach's challenge for offside in the third period gave Montreal momentum, and the Canadiens went on to beat Boston 5-4 on Tuesday — a rare regulation loss for the division-leading Bruins.

It looked like Cassidy's team went up 5-4 when Charlie Coyle beat Carey Price. But the officials held a lengthy video review on Claude Julien's challenge and determined Coyle was offside on the zone entry during the play.

"The rule was put in place specifically for egregious [calls]," said Cassidy. "They're over there for three minutes. What is the purpose for this rule? You either find something or you don't. Now you're looking for something for it to be offside. You know it's going to go the other way and it did.

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"It was a big part of the game and it didn't go our way."

However, It was an evening of milestones for both teams.

Chara appreciates fan reaction 

Montreal's Claude Julien coached his 1,200th NHL game while Bruins captain Zdeno Chara played his 1,500th game. Bell Centre fans gave Chara, who is usually booed in Montreal, a rare ovation for the accomplishment. The 42-year-old is the 21st player to reach that mark.

"I really appreciated it and it was very classy," Chara said of the fan reaction. "It's something I will definitely remember. That just shows they are very passionate fans. We had some battles, it's a good rivalry. Lots of history with both teams. Always fun to play these games."

Down 4-3 in the third, the Bruins tied the score when Sean Kuraly surprised Price on a wraparound at 3:03. It looked like Boston was taking over until Coyle's goal was overturned.

Ben Chiarot answered and gave Montreal (8-5-2) the win with a wrist shot from the heart of the face-off circle just a few minutes later. The Canadiens have won four of their last five games.

"Our video guys saw the puck on the line and the skates across it," said Julien. "If we don't win that challenge, they have a one-goal lead and a two-minute power play. It could have gone their way.

"We were right and we stopped Boston's momentum. From there, we got better."

The Bruins (11-2-2) saw their six-game win streak come to an end as they lost in regulation for the first time since Oct. 10 in Colorado against the Avalanche.

But Boston was playing the second game of a back-to-back set and it showed, going down 3-1 in the first period.

A faster Canadiens team was rewarded just 1:13 into the game when Victor Mete, with a well-timed pinch, fired Jeff Petry's rebound under Tuukka Rask's glove for his first of two goals on the night.

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David Pastrnak netted the equalizer six seconds into a Boston power play, a one-timer from the half wall at 14:55. Pastrnak, the NHL scoring leader, extended his career-high point streak to 13 games.

Montreal was right back in it two minutes later. A clever breakout pass by Brendan Gallagher led to a 2-on-1, with Tomas Tatar shooting off the post and in.

After Artturi Lehkonen forced a turnover, Paul Byron went five-hole on Rask to make it 3-1 for the Canadiens at 17:16 with his first goal of the year.

It was hardly a goaltending battle, with Price stopping 21-of-25 shots while Rask gave up five goals on 31 shots.

"It's one of those nights where instead of a hockey puck, it feels like a golf ball out there," said Rask, who suffered his first regulation defeat. "I was just not tracking it well. Tough night for me. Couldn't really make a save."

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