The Bruins have claimed their share of victories, but they never have swept the Canadiens in a best-of-seven playoff series.
Thursday night at Boston, the Bruins took a step toward achieving that feat with a 3-2 victory that gave them a 3-0 lead in the Adams Division final.
Vladimir Ruzicka and Jim Wiemer scored goals for the Bruins in a span of 1:40. The Bruins, who have beaten the Canadiens in the division final three of the last four years, can win another title in Game 4 Saturday night at Boston Garden.
Ruzicka scored the go-ahead goal with 4.6 seconds left in the first period and Wiemer, picking up some offensive slack in the absence of injured Ray Bourque, made it 3-1 with a goal at 1:35 of the second period.
"Our defense was incredible," Boston Coach Rick Bowness said. "We played very hard and we played very smart. We made a few mistakes, but we minimized them. When we didn't, Andy (Moog) made the big save.
Ruzicka, who scored 39 goals during the regular season, scored his third playoff goal on a power play three seconds before Russ Courtnall's slashing penalty was due to expire.
N.Y. Rangers 6, Pittsburgh 5--Kris King put in a rebound of Paul Broten's long slap shot 1:29 into overtime to give the Rangers the victory at Pittsburgh.
The Rangers blew three two-goal leads, but came back to take a 2-1 edge in the Patrick Division finals.
King scored the winning goal for the second consecutive game as the Rangers won their second in a row without Mark Messier, who has back spasms.
New York goaltender Mike Richter made 45 saves.