|BOS||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
|MTL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
MONTREAL (AP) -Saku Koivu and Jaroslav Halak left Montreal's loyal fans wanting more.
Koivu scored twice and Halak earned his second shutout in the Canadiens' 2-0 victory over the Boston Bruins on Tuesday night before the Bell Centre's 100th straight sellout crowd.
The Canadiens, who have won nine of 11 and finish the regular season with two road games, remain in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 90 points, one ahead of ninth-place Toronto.
"We hope to be back here in a week and a half for a playoff game," said Koivu, who has a career high 22 goals. "It's good timing for us. We're hot at the right time and hopefully we can ride it for two more games and into the playoffs."
It is the second straight season the Canadiens have sold out every regular-season home game. The total attendance of 872,193 tied the league record Montreal set last season.
"Even when things go bad for you they still sell out the building," Koivu said. "The cheering that we got at the end, it just amazes you over and over and it's fun to play in front of them."
Montreal faces the New York Rangers on Thursday before ending the season Saturday against the Maple Leafs.
Koivu scored his 21st goal on a power play at 16:46 to reach 70 points for only the second time in his career. The Canadiens captain brought the crowd of 21,273 to its feet in a roar when he beat Hannu Toivonen for his second goal of the game with 5:18 left in the third period.
The Finnish center danced off to the right corner and jumped against the boards, driving his left shoulder into the glass in celebration.
"I was a bit surprised that I scored because I missed my shot a bit, but it was just a relief because they were pressing really hard," Koivu said. "Just before that they had some chances to tie the game so the second goal was kind of a relief for us and we were able to put them away. It was just a nice surprise that it went in."
Halak made his eighth straight start, improving to 7-1 in that stretch.
"It was nice to see that Saku came up really huge for us tonight," Halak said.
The 21-year-old Slovak stopped 29 shots to shut out Boston for the second time in seven games. He made 30 saves in a 1-0 win over the Bruins on March 20.
"I'm very happy that I got a shutout but it's more important for us to get the win and the two points," said Halak, who is 7-0 at the Bell Centre.
Boston lost its fourth in a row, and has won only three of its past 15 games (3-11-1).
"We have to keep playing with pride," Bruins forward Patrice Bergeron said.
Toivonen, who was recalled from Providence of the AHL on Monday, made 28 saves and fell to 3-8-1 in 17 games this season. It was his first appearance since Feb. 24, when he relieved Tim Thomas for the final two periods of a 7-2 loss in Florida.
"He did an excellent job," Bruins coach Dave Lewis said. "He responded well to the pressure of this game and the importance of the Canadiens and the crowd and I thought he looked very comfortable in the net. He made some timely saves and he gave us a chance."
Notes: Canadiens G Cristobal Huet was supposed to dress for the game and back up Halak, but team officials said the necessary paperwork to remove him from the injury reserve list wasn't filed to the league in time. David Aebischer backed up Halak for the eighth straight game. ... Koivu had 21 goals and 71 points in 2002-03, his first full season after overcoming non-Hodgkin intra-abdominal lymphoma.
|PPG - Saku Koivu (21) ASST: Sheldon Souray (37), Jaroslav Halak (1)|
1 - 0 MTL
|Saku Koivu (22) ASST: Mark Streit (26), Mike Komisarek (15)|
2 - 0 MTL
|Mathieu Dandenault Slashing against Petr Tenkrat|
|Patrice Bergeron Hooking against Saku Koivu|
|Aaron Ward Roughing against Mark Streit|
|Patrice Bergeron Hooking against Andrei Markov|
|Marc Savard Tripping against Mark Streit|
|Phil Kessel Slashing against Chris Higgins|
|Francis Bouillon Hi-sticking against Jeff Hoggan|
|Maxim Lapierre Tripping against Marc Savard|
|Guillaume Latendresse Fighting (maj) against Dennis Wideman|
|Dennis Wideman Fighting (maj) against Guillaume Latendresse|
|Andrew Ference Diving against Alex Kovalev|
|Alex Kovalev Hooking against Andrew Ference|
|Marco Sturm Hooking against Andrei Markov|
|Andrei Markov Diving against Marco Sturm|
|Aaron Ward Roughing against Maxim Lapierre|
|Andrew Ference Roughing against Saku Koivu|
|Maxim Lapierre Roughing against Aaron Ward|
|SA: 30||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 28||EV: 16 - 17|
|PIM: 0||PP: 11 - 12|
|SV%: .933||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 29||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 29||EV: 25 - 25|
|PIM: 0||PP: 4 - 4|
|SV%: 1.000||SH: 0 - 0|