For 20 minutes, it was a game
The Canadiens outshot the Bruins 13-6 in the first period, and Tuukka Rask stopped Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk on breakaways.
But a Jarred Tinordi error left Carl Soderberg wide open in front of Peter Budaj early in the second period, and the Bruins were off to the races.
Patrice Bergeron and Milan Lucic made it 3-0 in the seconds period, and Zdeno Chara scored early in the third period before David Desharnais's 12th, in a goalmouth scramble, cost Rask his shutout. Thomas Vanek assisted, his first point as a Canadien.
Canadiens outshot Boston 36-32.
Canadiens finally score
David Desharnais poked the puck past Tuukka Rask in a goalmouth scramble, ending a futility streak stretching back to last Thursday in Phoenix.
Thomas Vanek drew an assist – his first point as a Canadien.
Zdeno Chara had made it 4-0, driving his own rebound past Peter Budaj less than 90 seconds into the period.
Bruins blow it open
An error by Jarred Tinordi left Carl Soderberg alone in front to open the scoring.
Then Patrice Bergeron completed an odd-man rush, cashing a perfect pass by Brad Marchand.
The Canadiens had a couple decent shifts late in the period, but Milan Lucic scored a soft one on Peter Budaj with 90 seconds left.
Shots were 13-13.
The Canadiens dominated the opening period and outshot the Bruins 13-6.
Tuukka Rask stopped Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk on breakaways.
Peter Budaj's best save was on Milan Lucic.
The Canadiens' greatest rivals pay their second and last regular-season visit to the Bell Centre Wednesday night.
The Bruins, who are riding a five-game winning streak, are hot.
The Canadiens, making their first start since a 1-3 road trip, are not.
But they've won both previous games against Boston this season, 2-1 at the Bell Centre on Dec. 5 and 4-1 at the TD Garden on Jan. 30.
Max Pacioretty scored the winner in both games.
Brandon Prust returns to the Canadiens lineup, and Francis Bouillon draws in on D.
Lines and pairings from morning skate: Vanek-Plekanec-Gionta, Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher, Galchenyuk-Eller-Briere, Moen-White-Prust; Markov-Emelin, Subban-Bouillon, Murray-Tinordi
Puck drops 7:40ish.
Check back later for live game blogging.
• Pre-game reading: Arpon Basu on the Boston-Montreal rivalry
• Preview: Strombo on HNIC