BRUINS 24-8-4 (52 pts) at CANADIENS 24-8-5 (53 pts)
9:57 p.m. - Postgame Snapshots: FINAL MTL 2, BOS 1
Bruins Edged by Habs: The Boston Bruins fall to the Canadiens in Montreal 2-1 at the Bell Centre, which snaps their three game winning streak. The Canadiens will remain atop the Northeast Division with 55 points while the Bruins remain in second with 53 points. The Bruins are back in action on Monday in Boston when the Black & Gold take on the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.
B's Draw a Penalty in the Final Seconds: With 56.4 second remaining in the third period, Lars Eller was called for holding when he took down Zdeno Chara in the Montreal zone. The Bruins then pulled Rask in lieu of the penalty, giving them a six-on-four man advantage, looking to spark their offense in the final seconds. The B's were able to win the initial faceoff and kept the puck in the Canadiens' zone the entire duration of the power play opportunity. Despite being in the Habs end for the final 56 seconds of the game, the Bruins were unable to find any shooting lanes and failed to register a shot on net in the closing seconds, giving the Habs the 2-1 victory.
B's Postgame Coverage: Stay tuned for our postgame coverage and follow us on Twitter @NHLBruins for quotes from the B's locker room and Head Coach Claude Julien.
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Next Game: The Bruins are back in action on Monday back in Boston when the Black & Gold take on the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.
8:52 p.m. - 2nd Intermission Snapshots: MTL 2, BOS 1
Krejci Line Chance: The Bruins had a great scoring opportunity with David Krejci leading a rush up ice about halfway through the second period. Krejci passed the puck to Milan Lucic in the last quarter of the neutral zone and entered the Montreal zone with a head of steam. Lucic skated from left to right, before passing the puck to Horton at the doorstep of the Canadiens' crease. Horton, contested by a Montreal defender, tried to whack at the puck coming through the seam, but it was not enough to redirect the puck in net with Price out of position. The Krejci line has been skating well tonight and has generated a few chances throughout tonight's game with good net drive and puck movement. Horton has had two chances of his own and generated two shots on goal, after the forwards could not fire one in on Price in the first period.
Paille Scores: Shortly after Daniel Paille won a faceoff in the Montreal zone (Campbell was kicked out of the circle after initially being in to take the draw), Johnny Boychuk unleashed a slapshot with Paille in the line of fire. The puck took a Bruins-friendly deflection off Paille on its way toward the net and was redirected just enough to make it past Price's left shoulder. Paille's seventh goal of the season cut the B's deficit to one 7:10 into the second period, and Boychuk was credited with his fifth help on the tally.
Ryder Converts on the Power Play: With 22 seconds remaining on the Milan Lucic cross-checking penalty (55 seconds into the period), the Habs were able to convert on their 35th power play goal of the year from ex-Bruin Michael Ryder, when he tipped a P.K. Subban wrist shot past Rask for his 16th of the year. On the goal, Subban earns his second assist of the night and his 22nd of the year. Also earning an assist on the play was Tomas Plekanec (15).
Good Omen for Bruins?: The team that has entered the third period with the lead in the first three games of this series has gone on to lose the game.
7:30 p.m. - 1st Intermission Snapshots: MTL 1, BOS 0
Lucic to the Box: With under a minute remaining in the first period, Milan Lucic was called for cross-checking on Tomas Plekanec, and was sent to the box to serve his penalty. The Bruins kept the Habs scoreless for the remainder of the first period on the penalty kill but will need to kill off the remaining 1:22 to start the second period.
Boychuk's Chance: Johnny Boychuk almost put a bomb past Carey Price with just under five minutes remaining in the first period, with Daniel Paille triggering the play by winning a puck battle deep in the Montreal zone, after establishing a much needed forecheck by the Bruins. After winning the battle, Paille tossed the puck to Gregory Campbell behind the net on the opposite side of the ice, who then quickly threw a pass to Boychuk, pinching down the high slot. Boychuk unleashed a rocket on Price, but the Habs goaltender was able to absorb the shot without allowing a rebound, prompting a whistle from the referees.
Galchenyuk Scores: P.K. Subban served as the catalyst on a Alex Galchenyuk goal at 6:49 into the first period to give Montreal a 1-0 lead. Subban unleashed a slapshot from just above the right faceoff circle which deflected off Rask. Galchenyuk scooped up the rebound and threw it at Rask, who was still trying to get back in position after the preceding Subban shot. The loose puck managed to get underneath Rask and bounced off Matt Bartkowski, who was in the crease trying to clear the puck out, and eventually trickled past the goal line to give Galchenyuk his fifth goal and Subban's 21st assist of the year.
Ference & Bouillon Wrestle: After a big hit by David Krejci on Montreal's Brendan Gallagher, Andrew Ference intercepted Francis Bouillon who was on his way toward Krejci after the hit. Ference got the better of Bouillon and was able to force the Montreal defenseman's jersey over his head before the referees intervened. Ference and Bouillon were sent to their respective penalty boxes for two-minute roughing minors as no punches were thrown when the two engaged. The ensuing two minutes of four-on-four play saw light pressure from both squads, before Ference and Bouillon came out of the box to put both teams back to full strength.
Injury Update on Emelin: Alexei Emelin collided with Milan Lucic out in front of the Bruins bench and needed to be helped off the ice by Montreal's training staff. It was announced that Emelin would not return to the game and had sustained a lower-body injury.
Handing the Puck: The Bruins weren't able to sustain much pressure in the attacking zone during the first period - not necessarily a product of the Habs as much as the B's having trouble getting the puck out of their own zone. So much so that following the Habs' first goal, there was a shift around the midpoint of the period that saw Jaromir Jagr log a shift of 1:27 and Tyler Seguin of just over a minute, as the Canadiens were able to keep the puck in - after the 45 seconds of pressure, Tuukka Rask gloved the puck and held on, noticing that his group needed a breather and a regroup.
6:30 p.m. - Pregame Snapshots: BOS vs MTL
MATCHUP: The top spot in the Northeast is at stake tonight with the Bruins taking on the Canadiens in Montral at the Bell Centre. The B's look to extend their winning streak to four after previously earning victories over the Devils (April 4), Senators (April 2) and Sabres (March 31).
STARTING GOALTENDERS: Rask (16-5-4, 1.94 GAA, .927 Save %) vs. Price (18-7-4, 2.30 GAA, .914 Save %). Rask is 2-7-2 with a 2.89 GAA and .898 Save % with one shutout in 12 career games against Montreal. Price is 15-8-3 with a 2.61 GAA and .916 Save % in 27 career games against Boston.
BRUINS VS CANADIENS LIFETIME: The Bruins and Canadiens will meet for the 721st time tonight with the Habs holding a 270-339-103-8 record with a 2,183-1,908 scoring advantage in those games. Boston is 105-204-47-3 in 359 games in Montreal with the Habs holding a 1,201-843 scoring edge. The 721 games played between these teams is second only to the 724 played between the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings.
PROJECTED LINES BASED ON PREGAME RUSHES:
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT: The last eight of nine games between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens have been decided by one goal.
KREJCI LINE HOT: The line composed of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton has been hot in their last five games registering a combined six goals and eight assists. Horton has been especially hot and is responsible for four of the six goals that the Krejci line has produced during that span.
STREAKING: Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand come into tonight riding a two-game point streak having notched two assists during that span.
MONTREAL NOTEBOOK: Alex Galchenyuk comes into tonight riding a two-game point streak, earning one goal and assist… Brendan Gallagher has a point per game when playing Boston notching 1-2=3 totals in three games…PK Subban's seven goals in March are the most by a Montreal defenseman in the month since Mathieu Schneider had seven in February of 1994… Andrei Markov is one assist shy from tying Jean-Claude Tremblay for 24th on the teams all-time assists leaders list.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Bruins power play: 14-for-96 (14.6%, 25th NHL), Bruins penalty kill: 112-for-123 (91.1%, 1st NHL)… Canadiens power play: 34-for-155 (17.6%, T-17th NHL), Canadiens penalty kill: 109-for-133 (82.0%, 12th NHL).