Bruins blast Canadiens

Zdeno Chara, a bete noire in Montreal since the hit that sent Max Pacioretty to the hospital, had three assists as the Boston Bruins turned a grudge match into a blowout and beat the Canadiens.

Montreal Canadien Paul Mara fights Boston Bruin Gregory Campbell during the Bruins’ 7-0 win in Boston Thursday.

Montreal Canadien Paul Mara fights Boston Bruin Gregory Campbell during the Bruins’ 7-0 win in Boston Thursday.

Canadiens 0 at Bruins 7

Zdeno Chara, a bete noire in Montreal since the hit that sent Max Pacioretty to the hospital, had three assists as the Boston Bruins turned a grudge match into a blowout and beat the Canadiens.

The win left Boston five points ahead of second-place Montreal in the Northeast Division.

Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell scored twice, and David Krejci and Milan Lucic also had three assists for the Bruins as they beat Montreal for just the second time in six games this season. Tim Thomas stopped 24 shots for his career-best eighth shutout and 25th of his career.

Johnny Boychuk, Adam McQuaid and Tomas Kaberle also scored for Boston.

Penguins 2 at Flyers 1

Chris Kunitz’s shootout goal lifted the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.

Pittsburgh’s Alex Kovalev scored the first shootout goal. He was matched by Philadelphia’s Danny Briere. Kunitz got the final shootout attempt through the legs of Sergei Bobrovsky for the winner.

Philadelphia’s Mike Richards and Pittsburgh’s Tyler Kennedy scored goals in regulation. The Flyers played in their fourth straight shootout and reached overtime for the fifth time in six games.

The Penguins are five points out of the lead in the East and the Flyers hold a two-point lead over idle Washington.

Senators 2 at Rangers 1, SO

Erik Karlsson scored the lone goal of the shootout in the fifth round and the Ottawa Senators snapped the New York Rangers’ season-best, five-game winning streak.

Craig Anderson and Rangers counterpart Henrik Lundqvist both made 29 saves through overtime and both denied the first four shooters in the tiebreaker. Anderson got some help in the fifth round when Ryan Callahan got off a weak shot because his stick broke on the attempt.

Karlsson then solved Lundqvist to win it.

The game mattered much more to the Rangers, the seventh-place team in the Eastern Conference. New York closed within two points of sixth-place Montreal, which lost at Boston, with seven games left. The Senators are last in the East.

Thrashers 2 at Islanders 1

Rob Schremp scored the winning goal against his former team as the Atlanta Thrashers beat the New York Islanders 2-1.

Andrew Ladd scored the other goal for Atlanta, while backup Chris Mason only needed to make 14 saves.

John Tavares was the only one to beat Mason, while Al Montoya made 32 saves for the Islanders.

The Thrashers dominated the opening period and if it weren’t for the solid play by Montoya, the Islanders would have trailed by more than one goal.

Ducks 4 at Predators 5

Sergei Kostitsyn scored two goals, both in the first period, as the Nashville Predators beat the Anaheim Ducks.

Nick Spaling, Jordin Tootoo and David Legwand also scored for Nashville, which has won five straight games. Tootoo and Spaling each added an assist.

Teemu Selanne scored two power-play goals, and Corey Perry also had two goals for Anaheim, which had its four-game winning streak stopped.

Maple Leafs 4 at

Avalanche 3

Nikolai Kulemin had two goals, and Phil Kessel and Tyler Bozak also scored, leading the Toronto Maple Leafs past the Colorado Avalanche for their third straight win.

The Maple Leafs boosted their points total to 78, three behind idle Buffalo for the Eastern Conference’s final playoff berth. Toronto has seven games remaining.

Colorado saw its modest two-game winning streak snapped on a night when they lost two more players to injury.

Defenceman Ryan Wilson did not return after suffering a second-period knee injury. The Avalanche also lost Mark Olver, part of Colorado’s top line, to a head injury midway through the first period.

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