Gallagher leads Canadiens recovery in Winter Classic

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The Montreal Canadiens returned to winning ways courtesy of a resounding 5-1 victory over the Boston Bruins in the NHL Winter Classic.

Montreal had lost seven of their past eight games heading into Friday's blockbuster at Gillette Stadium, home of NFL champions the New England Patriots.

But the Canadiens claimed a confidence-boosting win in front of 67,246 fans thanks to Brendan Gallagher, who scored one and assisted another in the team's 22nd win of the season.

David Desharnais scored his eighth goal of the season to give the Canadiens the lead, before Paul Byron and Gallagher added goals in the second, with Max Pacioretty and Byron among the goals in the third, cancelling out Matt Beleskey's consolation for the Bruins.

In Vancouver, the Canucks edged the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 in a shoot-out.

Alexandre Burrows scored the only goal of the shoot-out, which was enough to see the Canucks to victory at home to the Ducks.

After a goalless first period, Anaheim's Ryan Kesler put the Ducks 1-0 up, only for Canuck Christopher Tanev to equalise midway through the third period.