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NHL

Canadiens’ goalie cools off red-hot Bruins

– The Montreal Canadiens were struggling through their worst stretch of the season. Then they had to play two of the hottest teams in the NHL.

They beat both – decisively.

Peter Budaj stopped 34 shots and the Canadiens ended the Boston Bruins’ four-game winning streak with a 4-1 win Thursday night. The victory came just two days after they stopped Carolina’s four-game winning streak with a 3-0 win.

“It’s good for the confidence,” Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. “Even when things weren’t going our way, we tried to stay positive.”

The Canadiens had been outscored 19-5 in losing four consecutive games. The Bruins had won their previous four games by a combined score of 21-8.

But Boston was outplayed from start to finish.

“We didn’t skate. We didn’t execute, and we didn’t make good decisions,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “We weren’t very good.”

The Canadiens’ speed and emotion put them in front of the Bruins all night long.

“This was close to a complete game for us,” said Daniel Briere, who scored Montreal’s last goal. “We needed that after spending the last week dropping some big games and by big scores as well.”

BLUE JACKETS 5, CAPITALS 2: In Columbus, Ohio, Ryan Johansen scored twice and Derek MacKenzie, Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson also scored as Columbus ended a three-game losing skid.

AVALANCHE 5, WILD 4: In Denver, Semyon Varlamov had 35saves, and John Mitchell had a goal and an assist to lead Colorado.

MAPLE LEAFS 6, PANTHERS 3: In Toronto, Nazem Kadri had three assists, including his 100th career point as Toronto ran its home winning streak to five.

SENATORS 5, LIGHTNING 3: In Ottawa, Ontario, Marc Methot, Erik Karlsson, Zack Smith, Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan scored as Ottawa jumped to a four-goal lead and held on for the win.

DEVILS 3, STARS 2, OT: In Dallas, Patrik Elias scored a power-play goal 40 seconds into overtime to lift New Jersey after the Stars had tied the score on Tyler Seguin’s goal with 52 seconds remaining in regulation.

SABRES 3, COYOTES 2: In Glendale, Ariz., Zemgus Girgensons scored a short-handed goal in the third period and had an assist to lead Buffalo.

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