Canadiens’ Michael Cammalleri scores against Bruins goalie Tim Thomas on a penalty shot during the first period Thursday night at the Bell Centre. Dave Sidaway, The Gazette
• At a Glance: The Canadiens enjoyed two-goal leads on three separate occassion over the Bruins on Thursday night, but Boston never quit and fought valiently until the end, but the Canadiens held on for a 4-3 win.
Michael Cammalleri scored the game’s first goal 1:04 in on a penalty shot awarded after Bruins’ Zdeno Chara hooked Cammalleri while on a breakaway. Cammalleri deked Bruins goalie Tim Thomas and lifted the puck over his outstretched leg for a 1-0 lead.
Maxim Lapierre made it 2-0 five minutes later when he popped a rebound beyond Thomas moments after a faceoff win in the Bruins zone.
Blake Wheeler narrowed the gap to 2-1 with about four minutes to play in the period when he fired a shot from a sharp angle that Carey Price got a piece of, but the puck rolled over his pad and trickled over the goal line.
Max Pacioretty, playing in his second game of the season for the Canadiens, made it 3-1 with 30 seconds to play when his backhand shot from behind the goal line went off Bruins defenceman Andre Ference and slid beyond Thomas.
In the second period, Marc Savard pulled the Bruins to within a goal when he scored 6:54 into the period. It was his first goal of the season after missing time because of post-concussion symptoms.
Canadiens captain Brian Gionta re-established the two-goal lead with about three minutes to play when he appeared to redirect a shot by Pacioretty, although replays showed the puck went in off a Bruins defenceman.
Milan Lucic brought the Bruins back to within a goal during a power play when he deflected a Patrice Bergeron shot from the point over Price’s shoulder with about five minutes to play.
• Key Moments: In the second period, Michael Cammalleri got into the first fight of his NHL career with Bruins’ David Krejci.
• What It Means: Montreal snaps a three-game losing streak, its longest of the season and improves to 19-11-2, opening a four-point lead over the Bruins for top spot in the Northeast Division.
• What’s Next: The Canadiens embark on a seven-game road trip that starts Sunday night in Colorado and then has stops in Dallas and Carolina before Christmas, then the team hits the road again for games against the New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers on New Year’s Eve.