Jaroslav Halak stopped all 22 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season as the Boston Bruins blanked the Montreal Canadiens 4-0 on Monday night.
Joakim Nordstrom, Colby Cave, David Krejci and Brad Marchand scored for the Bruins (18-12-4), who snapped a two-game losing skid. Boston was on the second game of a back-to-back after losing 4-2 in Buffalo on Sunday.
Halak improved to 5-0-0 when facing Carey Price, his former teammate.
Price failed to earn his 300th career NHL victory, stopping 31-of-35 shots in defeat for the Canadiens (17-12-5), which had won five of their previous six games.
Montreal was shut out for just the second time this season, and first time since Oct. 11 against the Los Angeles Kings.
Boston leapfrogged the Canadiens for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Montreal looked sloppy in the first period, turning the puck over 11 times after just seven minutes.
The Bruins responded with their first goal at 2:21 after a Michael Chaput turnover in his own zone. What followed was a give-and-go between Cave, David Backes and Nordstrom, who beat Price from the slot for his fifth of the year.
Boston made it 2-0 late in the second period when Cave scored his first NHL goal at 19:34. The 23-year-old, playing his 16th career game, was left alone in the slot with the teams playing 4-on-4 hockey.
The visitors picked up right where they left off in the third, scoring 46 seconds after the intermission. A defensive collapse by the Canadiens gave Krejci time and space at the side of the net for his sixth of the season. Krejci extended his point streak to seven games.
The Bruins added to their lead when Marchand scored Boston’s fourth, on the power play, at 5:06. David Pastrnak made a clever pass on the goal, his second of the game.
Boston outshot Montreal 35-22.
The Canadiens failed to capitalize on three power plays, prolonging an 0-for-25 slump that dates back to Dec. 1. The Canadiens have not scored a power-play goal in nine games.
Notes: Montreal defenceman Jordie Benn was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. It was the third of four meetings between the Canadiens and Bruins this season.