DALE WEISE, P.K. Subban and Lars Eller each had a goal and an assist, Carey Price made 26 saves, and the Montreal Canadiens beat the Boston Bruins last night, 4-2, to take the lead in their NHL Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series.

The Canadiens are up 2-1 with Game 4 set for tomorrow night in Montreal.

Tomas Plekanec also scored for the Canadiens, who were outplayed for long stretches but made the most of quick-strike attacks.

Patrice Bergeron and Andrej Meszaros scored for the Bruins, who outshot Montreal 28-26.

For the third straight game, the Canadiens held a 3-1 lead in the third period. This time, they didn't let it completely slip away.

Tuukka Rask was pulled with 2:20 left to play, and only 4 seconds later, Meszaros beat Price with a high shot through traffic off a feed from Milan Lucic. But the Bruins failed to get the equalizer in the frantic final minute. Then Eller got loose to score into an empty net with 3 seconds to go.

In another game

* At St. Paul, Minn., Erik Haula and Mikael Granlund scored goals less than 3 minutes apart early in the third period, and the Minnesota Wild recovered from a sluggish start for a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinal series.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 19 saves for his first shutout in the playoffs in 8 years, and the Blackhawks had their series lead whittled to 2-1 with their first loss in 2 1/2 weeks.

Noteworthy

* Mike Babcock of the Detroit Red Wings, Jon Cooper of the Tampa Bay Lightning and Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche are finalists for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL's top coach.