Gallagher leads Canadiens to Winter Classic win over Bruins

Brian Babineau / National Hockey League / Getty

The Montreal Canadiens went into Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on Friday and did what very few teams have done: dominate the home team.

The Canadiens - led by winger Brendan Gallagher, who returned from two broken fingers - soundly defeated the Boston Bruins 5-1 in the 2016 Winter Classic. It's the largest margin of victory in the outdoor game's history.

Related: Best photos from the Winter Classic

The reunited top line of the Canadiens - and Paul Byron - did the damage. Gallagher had a goal and assist, as did captain Max Pacioretty, while Tomas Plekanec finished with two helpers.

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask did what he could, keeping the game close, but the Canadiens were too much for Boston to open 2016.


Here's what else you need to know about the annual Jan. 1 NHL showcase.

  • The Bruins came out with zero intensity, surprising considering they were playing at "home." Boston was extremely flat, and Montreal jumped all over the Bruins, outshooting them 14-3 after 20 minutes. The shot attempts after the first period were 27-4 Montreal.
  • Rask was very good through 40 minutes, keeping Boston in the game. He made a couple of 10-bell saves in the second period to keep the Bruins within striking distance. However, he drops to 4-15-3 in his career against Montreal with the loss. The Canadiens have his number.
  • "I'd say embarrassing more than disappointing," Rask said. "Embarrassing loss."
  • Goaltender and local boy Mike Condon, playing in front of friends and family, was quietly excellent for the Canadiens, stopping 25 shots in the second and third periods. He's allowed only four goals on 67 shots in two starts since Montreal traded for Ben Scrivens.
  • By all accounts, ice conditions were excellent. Pacioretty called them "perfect" after the first period, and the Winter Classic has arguably never been played at a higher quality than it was Friday.
  • Gallagher played nine minutes in the first half of the game, and his impact was felt immediately. He was back in front of the net, taken down heavily by Zdeno Chara in the first period after searching for a rebound that wasn't there.
  • The Bruins clearly missed suspended Brad Marchand and injured David Krejci. They struggled to create many quality scoring chances, especially through the game's first 30 minutes.
  • Attendance was 67,246.
  • Canadiens forward Dale Weise was forced from the game with an upper-body injury.
  • Byron scored twice for Montreal, and was credited with the game-winning goal.
  • Bruins forward Max Talbot was minus-4 in his fourth Winter Classic.
  • Montreal moves back into first place in the Atlantic Division with the win.