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Bruins best Habs in Julien's Boston return

Field Level Media
January 17. 2018 11:48PM
Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien behind the bench during the first period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

Montreal coach Claude Julien won more games with Boston than any other coach in Bruins history, but his inside knowledge of his former team didn’t prove to be of much help to the Canadiens on Wednesday night.

Ryan Spooner’s second-period goal broke a 1-1 tie and David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and David Krejci all scored to help the Bruins beat the rival Canadiens 4-1 in Julien’s return to TD Garden in Boston for the first time since he was fired last February.

Julien, who won a franchise-record 419 games and a Stanley Cup title during his 10-year tenure with the Bruins, received a standing ovation from the home crowd during the first period.

“You come here as a home team coach and now you come here as a visitor, (it’s) a little strange,” Julien said before the game. “... There’s nothing to dislike about this city and right now, it’s about coming in here and hopefully making them not like you so much.”

Julien was replaced by his assistant, Bruce Cassidy, and returned to Montreal for his second stint coaching the Habs just seven days after he was relieved of duty by Boston.

Tuukka Rask made 21 saves to help the Bruins extend their points streak to 14 games (10-0-4).

Jakub Jerabek scored his first goal of the season for the Canadiens’ lone tally, and goalie Carey Price stopped 28 of 31 shots as Montreal dropped its third straight.

Julien’s squad struck first as Jerabek beat Rask just 31 seconds into the game.

Cassidy’s side regrouped and Pastrnak tied the game with his 18th goal of the campaign at 6:50 of the first before Spooner gave the Bruins the lead for good with his sixth goal just 2:37 into the second.

Marchand’s team-leading 19th goal at 3:40 of the third and Krejci’s eighth of the season with the net empty at 16:46 put the game out of reach.

The Bruins bested the Habs 4-3 last Saturday in Montreal, with Marchand’s shootout goal being the decisive tally.

Boston visits the New York Islanders tonight before traveling to Montreal for its third game against the Canadiens in an eight-day span. Montreal is at Washington on Friday before Saturday’s rematch.