BOSTON - Charlie Coyle grew up with the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry. The Weymouth native was even in the building for Boston's exhilarating Game 6 victory over the Habs in the first round of the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs, cheering wildly with friends and family as Marco Sturm potted the winner late in the third period.
"It was just so cool to be there watching," said Coyle. "Always wondered what it would be like playing here against them with the Bruins. Here we are."
Here we are, indeed. While Coyle got his first taste of the rivalry earlier this season, the center is very much looking forward to Wednesday night's fourth and final meeting between the teams this season.
"It's fun to be a part of it…it's not hard to get up for these games," said Coyle. "It's another big game for us, too. First and foremost, it's two points on the line. We want to make sure we grab those and bounce back from the last one."
Video: Coyle speaks to media ahead of Wednesday night game
Here's everything else you need to know for tonight's game against Montreal (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN and 98.5 The Sports Hub:
Joakim Nordstrom will be back in the lineup on Wednesday night after missing four games while he dealt with complications from an allergy condition. Having played just 39 games this season due to the illness and injury, the winger is hoping to string together some momentum ahead of the stretch run.
"Stay healthy - that's been an issue for me for more than half the season with the sickness and injury, so being healthy is a key point," said Nordstrom, who has four goals and three assists. "We want to be good, we want to be reliable, solid defensively, playing with the puck and being strong on pucks down low in the O-zone."
Video: Nordstrom meets with media before Tuesday night game
That's exactly what coach Bruce Cassidy is looking for, too. After bumping Sean Kuraly up for a stint as the third-line left wing last week, he has reunited his familiar fourth line of Kuraly, Nordstrom, and Chris Wagner in an attempt to get the trio going over the final month-plus of the regular season.
"They'd be the first to admit they have more to give," said Cassidy. "At the end of the day, that's an important line for us and has been for two years, three years, whoever's been on it. We expect a certain standard of play from them, who they're playing against.
"We'd like them to get there…I'm stating the obvious, but we're gonna keep looking at it until we find something better or we really believe it won't happen. I still think there's room for them to get where they've been before."
With Nordstrom returning, Danton Heinen will flip back to the right side and skate along with Coyle and Anders Bjork.
Montreal had its four-game winning streak snapped on Monday night with a 3-2 setback against Arizona. The Habs are clinging to the playoff picture as they sit seven points behind Toronto for third place in the Atlantic Division and eight points out of a wild car spot.
The Canadiens are without No. 1 defenseman and captain, Shea Weber, who has been sidelined since Feb. 4 with a lower-body injury.
Montreal has received a boost from veteran winger Ilya Kovalchuk, signed as a free agent in early January. The 36-year-old has compiled 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 16 games.
Tomas Tatar is pacing the Habs with 52 points and 20 goals in 58 games. Goalie Carey Price is 24-19-4 with a 2.70 goals against average and .913 save percentage.
Video: Cassidy meets with media before Wednesday night game
Wednesday's Projected Lineup
Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk - David Krejci - Karson Kuhlman
Anders Bjork - Charlie Coyle - Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom - Sean Kuraly - Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara - Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug - Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk - John Moore