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Associated Press
12/29/2006 11:36:44 PM


CHICAGO (AP) - Marc Savard had a goal and an assist as the Boston Bruins held on for a 5-3 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night.

Glen Murray, Mark Mowers, Milan Jurcina and Patrice Bergeron also scored as the Bruins, who led 4-0 after two periods, improved to 4-0-1 in their last five games and 5-1-1 in their last seven.

Bergeron extended his point streak to 10 games. He has six goals and 11 assists during the span.

Boston's Tim Thomas stopped 37 shots. He lost a bid for his second shutout this season - and second in four games - when Chicago's James Wisniewski scored 1:35 into the third.

Bryan Smolinski and Denis Arkhipov also scored early in the third for the Blackhawks, 9-4-3 since Denis Savard took over as coach.

Chicago's Nikolai Khabibulin made his 10th straight start, but was pulled for the first time this season after allowing three goals on seven shots in the first period.

Brian Boucher replaced him to start the second, and surrendered one goal on 13 shots.

Boston jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on goals by Murray, Mowers and Jurcina.

Murray opened the scoring 5:51 in, tipping in P.J. Axelsson's shot at the edge of the crease.

Mowers' short-handed goal with 3:42 left in the first made it 2-0. From the low edge of the right circle, Mowers spun and surprised Khabibulin with a low shot.

Just over a minute later, Jurcina extended Boston's lead to 3-0, scoring on screened shot from the top of the right circle.

Bergeron's power-play goal with 4:53 left in the second made it 4-0. He knocked the puck in from the edge of the crease following a turnover by Jassen Cullimore.

The Blackhawks scored three times in a 4:19 span early in the third to cut it to 4-3. Wisniewski connected on a screened shot from the top of the right circle at 1:35 while the teams were skating 4-on-4 to make it 4-1.

Smolinksi was credited with cutting it to 4-2 45 seconds later when Lasse Kukkonen's shot struck him in the back, popped into the air and landed in the net.

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