(SportsNetwork.com) – The Montreal Canadiens will try to match their longest
winning streak of the season when they host the Boston Bruins in Thursday’s
Atlantic Division showdown at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens have won three straight, while Boston is hoping to get back on
track after having a season-best five-game winning streak snapped Wednesday in
Including the playoffs, tonight’s battle in Montreal will be the 13th meeting
between these Original Six foes since the start of the 2013-14 campaign. The
Canadiens have dominated the series in that span, taking eight of the 12
encounters while posting a seven-game victory over Boston in last spring’s
Eastern Conference semifinals.
The Habs recorded a 6-4 home win over the Bruins in the first meeting of
2014-15, as P.A. Parenteau and Brendan Gallagher each recorded two-goal nights
in the Oct. 16 victory. Max Pacioretty added a goal and two assists in
Montreal’s victory, while Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask was pulled after
allowing five goals on just 23 shots.
Carey Price, who earned the win over Boston last month, is coming off his
first shutout of the season, as Montreal’s No. 1 netminder stopped all 29
shots sent his way in Tuesday’s 3-0 home win over Winnipeg.
It was the second straight win at the start of a four-game homestand at the
Bell Centre, where the Habs boast a 6-2-0 mark this season.
Tomas Plekanec, Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk lit the lamp for the Canadiens,
who can match a season-high winning streak with another win tonight. Montreal
won four straight from Oct. 16-25, a hot streak that began with a win over the
“We talked about the fact that good offense comes from good defense,” said
Plekanec. “I thought we did a better job doing that and Pricey did a good job
of taking care of anything we didn’t do well.”
Price is expected to start in net tonight for Montreal. Not including the
playoffs, he is 18-8-3 with a 2.55 goals against average in his career versus
The Habs are set to unveil a new addition to their roster tonight, as
defenseman Sergei Gonchar expects to make his Canadiens debut. Montreal
acquired the veteran blueliner Tuesday from Dallas in exchange for forward
Travis Moen. The 40-year-old Gonchar, who has recorded 798 points during his
NHL career, had one assist in three games with the Stars this season.
Boston is aiming to bounce back after getting routed last night by the rival
Maple Leafs. Phil Kessel notched a pair of goals as Toronto grabbed a 5-0
cushion and never looked back.
Dennis Seidenberg provided the lone offense for the Bruins, who suffered their
most lopsided loss of the season with the 6-1 defeat. Rask took the loss after
allowing four goals on 16 shots in 23-plus minutes. Niklas Svedberg finished
up making 15 saves on 17 shots.
“It’s the only thing we did as a team — we all played poorly,” seethed Bruins
forward Chris Kelly. “We didn’t compete. We didn’t work. We didn’t make plays.
We didn’t defend. That’s why it was 6-1.”
Rask could get the start again tonight after getting pulled early on
Wednesday. He is 3-11-3 with a 2.80 GAA in 18 regular-season meetings with
Boston played its second straight game without David Krejci and the club’s top
centerman also will miss tonight’s test. The Bruins are also still missing
star defenseman Zdeno Chara, who is sidelined with a torn ligament and isn’t
expected to return until later this month at the earliest.
The Bruins are 4-3-0 as the visiting team this season and will complete a
brief two-game road trip tonight. Next up for Boston is Saturday’s home test
against the Carolina Hurricanes.