BOSTON -- The Montreal Canadiens were struggling through their worst stretch of the season. . Then they had to play two of the hottest teams in the NHL. They beat both -- decisively. Peter Budaj stopped 34 shots and the Canadiens ended the Boston Bruins four-game winning streak with a 4-1 win Thursday night. The victory came just two days after they stopped Carolinas four-game winning streak with a 3-0 win. "Its good for the confidence," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said. "Even when things werent going our way, we tried to stay positive." The Canadiens had been outscored 19-5 in losing four consecutive games. The Bruins had won their previous four games by a combined score of 21-8. But Boston was outplayed from start to finish. "We didnt skate. We didnt execute, and we didnt make good decisions," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We werent very good." The Canadiens were outstanding. Their speed and emotion put them in front of the Bruins all night long. "This was close to a complete game for us," said Daniel Briere, who scored Montreals last goal while playing just 7 minutes, 39 seconds. "We needed that after spending the last week dropping some big games and by big scores as well." Alexei Emelin and Max Pacioretty scored before Dougie Hamiltons goal cut Montreals lead to 2-1 after one period. Brian Gionta made it 3-1 at 11:54 of the second, ending goalie Tuukka Rasks night. He was replaced by Chad Johnson, who allowed the first shot he faced, by Briere, to get past him less than two minutes later. Julien wouldnt say why he pulled Rask. And Rask said he felt OK. "I play as long as they tell me to play," he said. "Youd like to stop everything, right? But, today, I didnt." The Bruins had scored six goals in each of their previous three games. The Canadiens scored five times during their four-game slide. "Usually, when you go through tough stretches, people have a tendency to panic," Budaj said. "Tonight we played well against a really good team." The losing streak ended Tuesday night against Carolina when Carey Price stopped 36 shots in his third shutout of the season. Budaj was nearly as good while improving his career record in Boston to 4-0 with just five goals allowed. "We played well against a really, really good team," he said. "This building is always rocking. Its always exciting to play these type of games." Boston remained in first place in the Atlantic Division and second in the Eastern Conference but Montreal was aggressive from the start, quite a change from the Bruins previous two games. They outshot Florida 19-8 in the first period of a 6-2 win Tuesday night. That came one night after they took 18 of the first 20 shots in a 6-3 win over the New York Islanders. But they fell behind early Thursday night and never caught up. Emelin got his first goal in 32 games this season when he converted a slap shot from the right point with four players standing right in front of the crease just 2:16 into the game. Pacioretty scored his team-leading 23rd goal at 14:32. He received a pass along the left side in centre ice, skated behind the defence and put a short backhander behind Rask. But Hamilton scored his fifth goal just a minute later. Neither team had many good opportunities in the first half of the second period. But less than two minutes later, Tomas Plekanec took a power-play shot from the right circle and Gionta tipped it in for his ninth goal. Briere finished the scoring with a shot Johnson had little chance to stop. With three Bruins chasing him and only the goalie in front of him, Briere fired a 10-foot forehand shot over Johnsons shoulder. NOTES: Briere had a goal and an assist after getting just one assist in his previous 10 games. ... The Bruins fell to 12-3 in their last 15 home games. ... Budaj is 4-1 with one shutout in five career games against the Bruins. ... For the first time in the last 10 games between the teams, the final margin was more than one goal. The last time that happened was on Oct. 29, 2011, when Montreal won 4-2. . The last team in the NBA that will have any sympathy for the Thunder is the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are showing signs of putting everything together after two years of devastating injuries. . "I just think what it does for everybody in life is real simple," said Babcock early on Friday afternoon. "You dont give in. You just keep on keeping on. Is it going to go your way every time? No. But you choose your attitude and how you perform and how hard you dig in." Nearly four years to the day of the 2010 gold medal match in Vancouver, his team dug in with its best effort of these Olympics, snuffing out the high-powered Americans for another opportunity at gold.MINNEAPOLIS -- Jim Johnson struggled again. The Oakland Athletics picked up their new closer with a strong finish. Derek Norris hit a three-run homer in the 11th inning, and the As bounced back from another blown save by Johnson to beat the Minnesota Twins 7-4 on Wednesday. "When someone doesnt come through the next guy comes up and fills in for him. ... Its a nice chemistry we have here for that to happen," Norris said. Jared Burton (0-1) gave up the one-out drive by the backup catcher Norris, who went deep on Tuesday night, too. Dan Otero (1-0) got the last eight outs for the victory in relief of Johnson, who has given up seven runs, nine hits and six walks in five appearances with the As. Hes simply been falling behind in too many counts. "Whatever hes got to do to change that he will," Norris said, adding: "Hes going to go on a roll, and this isnt going to be a matter any longer I dont think." Minnesota trailed 4-0 after a rocky first inning by Phil Hughes, who needed 40 pitches to get his first out. Jason Kubel homered in the second and Brian Dozier went deep in the eighth. Johnson, who had 50 saves for Baltimore last season, gave up the third of four hits by Kubel to start the ninth. With the bases loaded and one out, Johnson nearly had Eduardo Escobar struck out, but a foul tip was ruled on his two-strike swing. Escobar then poked a single into to left field to cut Oaklands lead to 4-3. A one-hop throw to third baseman Josh Donaldson nearly forced out Kurt Suzuki, who was ruled safe, and a video review ruled the call stood -- meaning there was not "clear and convincing" evidence to overturn it. Donaldson said he closed his glove on the ball before Suzukis foot hit. But As manager Bob Melvin didnt waste time arguing, instead replacing Johnson with Otero. "I just had to go get him. I didnt feel great about it, but I had to do it. Keep working to get him right," Melvin said, declining to speculate on whether Johnsons closer job was in jeopardy. Dozier hit a sacrifice fly to right field, just deep enough for Suzuki to race home and sneak a hand onnto the plate in front of the tag by Norris. . Another umpire-initiated review confirmed the safe call, and the crowd of 22,973 cheered loudly when the video board provided the proof. There was more drama before Norris came up again. Glen Perkins struck out Donaldson to end the 10th inning, and the Twins closer shouted some obscenities and pointed at Donaldson, who gestured and "started to red line," as Donaldson put it afterward. Donaldsons path to Perkins was cut off by the Twins, and after the dugouts mostly emptied the tension de-escalated. Donaldson nearly homered during that at-bat, but the ball drifted foul. Perkins said he thought Donaldson was admiring his drive too long. "I dont feel like I disrespected him at all. Im up there trying to win a game for our team, and hes trying to win a game for his team. Juices are flowing," Donaldson said. Said Perkins: "There were things that happened in that at-bat that we both could have done differently. So well leave it at that." Donaldson hit an RBI double after Hughes walked the first two batters of the game. Brandon Moss tacked on a two-run single, and Alberto Callaspo added an RBI single. None of the hits were particularly hard, but the damage was done. Hughes walked three and struck out three in five innings, with five hits surrendered. Twins starters have one win in eight turns, with a collective 6.43 ERA. Oakland starter Jesse Chavez pitched seven smooth innings with no walks and nine strikeouts. As starters have allowed three runs or fewer in each of their first eight games, for a 2.02 ERA. NOTES: The As held CF Coco Crisp out again following a cortisone shot he had in his left wrist and likely will do so again on Thursday. ... The Twins honoured Gardenhire before the game for his 1,000th career victory by giving him a hand-crafted humidor filled with, yep, 1,000 cigars. ... Oakland has eight straight wins over Minnesota, all with at least seven runs. ... The As will send RHP Dan Straily (0-1, 4.50 ERA) to the mound for the series finale, and RHP Mike Pelfrey (0-1, 5.06 ERA) is set to pitch for the Twins. ' ' '