Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Lars Eller's first career two-goal game in Montreal's 4-1 win over Boston was overshadowed by a harsh collision between Bruin defender Zdeno Chara and Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty.
With just 16 seconds left in the second period, Pacioretty was charging down the left side boards near the benches. Chara went to pinch Pacioretty off and hit him into a dangerous spot where glass divides the two benches. His head hit the glass before he tumbled straight to the ice.
He laid motionless, face first, for several minutes as the medical staff attended to him. Finally, they were able to get him onto a stretcher and off the ice.
Fortunately, the Canadiens reported he was conscious and had motion in his extremities as he was taken to a local hospital for further examination.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens held onto the lead through a relatively quiet third period and pulled within three points of division-leading Boston. James Wisniewski and Brian Gionta also had goals while Carey Price made 30 saves in the hosts fifth straight win.
Milan Lucic scored the lone goal for Boston, which has lost two straight on the heels of a season-high seven-game winning streak. Tuukka Rask surrendered all four goals on 26 shots.
The Canadiens got the all-important first goal nearing the mid-point of the first period. Less than a minute after killing a power play, the Bruins defense wavered slightly to create Travis Moen's shot from the point, which was blocked by traffic in front of the net. However, Eller backhanded the loose disc past an unsuspecting Rask from the slot.
Montreal went up 2-0 with 2:23 left in the first as Eller and Moen struck again. Moen kept the play alive in the offensive zone and slipped the puck past the defense to Eller at the right door step. From there, the Danish center used a flick of the wrist to beat the Boston goaltender for his seventh tally of the season.
A power-play goal gave the Habs three-goal lead at the 7:15 mark of the second period. Gionta charged into the zone, collecting a pass from Scott Gomez. He then rifled a shot from the right circle on Rask and the puck trickled between the arm and body of the netminder. The disc kept rolling toward the goal line and several scrambling Boston defenders were a split-second late and could not prevent it from sliding past the goal line.
Montreal found the back of the net for the final time late in the middle session. Following an offensive zone faceoff win. Michael Cammalleri shoveled the puck away from the action to Wisniewski. That created a wide open shot for the defenseman, who stepped inside the left circle and ripped a power play shot past Rask.
The two teams were sent to the locker room after the hit on Pacioretty and the remaining time was added on to the third period. Lucic scored with just under 6 1/2 minutes left to avoid the shutout.
Chara was given an interference major and a game misconduct following the hit on Pacioretty. The two players have history, as Pacioretty scored the game- winning goal against the Bruins on January 8. After the goal, Pacioretty shoved Chara, which ignited a small scrum...Price is 12-3-2 for his career against Boston...The Bruins had a six-game road winning streak snapped. Their last road defeat came on Feb. 13 in Detroit.