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Habss' 100th-birthday party headlines four-game Friday

Thursday, 12.03.2009 / 11:35 PM / Game Previews

NHL.com

The Montreal Canadiens are holding a big birthday party at the Bell Centre on Friday night. The Boston Bruins would like nothing more than to spoil the festivities.

The Canadiens are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of their franchise before meeting the Bruins for the 701st time in the regular season, the most they've faced any opponent (8 p.m. ET, RDS, CBC, NHL Network-U.S.). The celebration caps the centennial for a franchise that has won 24 Stanley Cups -- 23 since the NHL took control of the Cup in the 1920s.

But the Canadiens haven't had much to celebrate recently -- they've dropped four in a row, including a 6-2 whipping by Buffalo on Thursday. Boston has been playing some of its best hockey of the season, going 6-0-1 in its last seven -- including a 4-1 home win over Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

The Lightning will try to bounce back when they visit New Jersey (7 p.m. ET). The Devils are coming off a rare clunker -- a 5-2 home loss to Vancouver on Wednesday. But they've already beaten Tampa Bay twice this season, both in shootouts on the road.

Also at 8 p.m. ET, the Anaheim Ducks visit Minnesota. The Ducks started a road trip Thursday with a 3-1 loss at Dallas. The improving Wild can get back to .500 with a win. They pulled off one of the season's big comebacks on Anaheim's first trip to the Xcel Energy Center this season, rallying from a 3-0 deficit in the third period to win 4-3 in overtime.

The Chicago Blackhawks hope to continue their winning ways when the Nashville Predators come to the United Center (8:30 p.m. ET). Chicago is 9-1-1 in its last 11 games, including an 11-round shootout win over Columbus on Tuesday. Nashville had won seven in a row before losing three of its last four -- including a 5-4 overtime loss at Minnesota on Wednesday.
Quote of the Day

I'm just excited about the opportunity. I've been on the ice earlier than usual and in the weight room, pushing around a little more weights than usual. Every day I go into a workout with a smile on my face and ready to go. When you do have a little more responsibility, you want to take your lunch pail and get ready to work.

— Brian Elliott to Jeremy Rutherford of the Post-Dispatch on being the Blues' No. 1 goalie