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Pregame Notebook vs. Montreal

by Hannah Becker / Boston Bruins
BOSTON – Tonight marks the sixth and final round of the Bruins vs. Canadiens showdown of the 2010-2011 regular season showdown and with a possible first-round playoff match-up between the ancient rivals looming on the horizon, the B's are looking for a victory tonight against the Habs.


Thus far, in a series that has featured everything from a late game comeback from the Canadiens to a brawl-filled victory for Boston, the B’s are just 1-3-1 against Montreal.

“They’ve been a tough opponent for us this year, we’re not happy only winning one of the first five games and we want to end this series off on a good note,” Bruins forward Milan Lucic said.

No matter what the outcome of tonight’s game, the Bruins will remain in first place in the Northeast Division, although a Montreal victory could cut that lead back to a single point as Boston enters tonight three points ahead of Montreal.

While the standings are on the Bruins minds, revenge for prior losses and struggles are not.

“I haven’t even thought about that word except when people bring it up,” B’s winger Shawn Thornton said when asked if the B’s will be looking to exact revenge on the Canadiens.

“So it’s a rialry -- it’s been like that for many many years.”

And tonight, the Bruins have one goal: to win.

Don’t stop now
With Tuesday night’s 4-1 win over the New Jersey Devils, the Bruins stopped a recent losing skid. But even after the convincing victory over a red-hot Devils squad, the B’s know they can’t rest now.

“We can’t get comfortable. We can’t stop for a couple games like we did in that little funk that we had,” said Boston center Patrice Bergeron.

That “funk” Bergeron is referring to, is Boston’s 4-3-3 record in their last ten games, including a 1-2-1 road trip during that time.

But Tuesday night, the B’s did a good job to regain some confidence as they head into the final ten games of the season.

Bergeron noted that everyone in Black & Gold were disappointed by the recent slump and were looking for any way to break out of it.

“It’s hockey and if you stop for a second the other team is going to take advantage of you and that’s what happened,” he said.  “We got comfortable a little bit and you can’t play comfortable. If you do that you’re going to be on your heels and you won’t be going.”

Headed into tonight’s game, Bergeron said the Bruins are looking keep their emotions going as they look for consecutive wins for the first time since their seven game winning streak from Feb. 17 to March 3.

Playoff atmosphere expected
When a team’s biggest rival rolls into town you know you can count on one thing; the Bruins faithful coming in right behind them.

As the B’s look to extend their 64 game consecutive sell-out streak at TD Garden tonight, the men on the ice are expecting a packed house created a high-intensity atmosphere for Boston to thrive off.

“You definitely want to use it to your advantage. I mean, there’s nothing better than feeding off your home crowd,” Lucic said.

“No matter when we’re playing the Canadiens. There is nothing more the Bruins like to see is when we beat them, when we get a win out of them.”

With the playoff history between the two squads and third place in the Eastern Conference still up for grabs with ten games remaining this season, it’s only natural the TD Garden will boast a play-off atmosphere.

The Bruins have faced the Canadiens 32 times in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with Montreal winning 24 of the series.

While the Bruins swept the latest match-up in 2009 four games to none, they were then eliminated by the Carolina Hurricanes in the second round.

With playoff hopes in the air around Boston, the fans are sure to breathe in some Stanley Cup essence as they watch a preview of a likely play-off match-up and look to measure the Bruins chances of bringing home the Cup.

“That’s our main focus, to try and get [the win] and we have to do whatever we can to feed off that crowd,” Lucic said.

“There is going to be a lot of energy in the building and I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

B’s sign Cantin
Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced yesterday that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Marc Cantin to an entry-level contract. Per club policy, the financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cantin, a 6’1”, 201-lb native of Omemee, Ontario had 10-31=41 totals and 78 PIM in 61 games for the Mississauga St. Michael’s Majors of the Ontario Hockey League.

In 249 career OHL games with Mississauga St. Michael’s, Windsor and Belleville, the 20-year-old has 16-64=80 totals and 278 PIM.

In 2010, Cantin won the Memorial Cup as a member of the Windsor Spitfires, and he scored a goal in the final, a 9-1 win over the Brandon Wheat Kings. He also was invited to and participated in last summer’s Bruins Development Camp from July 6-10, 2010 at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, MA.


Player Profile: Milan Lucic
Anybody standing up claiming they believed Milan Lucic would score 30 goals this season, should probably sit down.

While Bruins fans across the Hub of Hockey knew Lucic could be a game-changer, it stands to figure that most thought he would do it with his Hulk-like, 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame, not his wrist shot.

But this season, Lucic has proved everybody wrong—and right.

With ten games remaining this season, the 22-year-old has already obliterated previous season highs of 17 goals and 42 points.

Last night, Lucic’s second period goal was his 30th of the season and his second period assist was his 55th point of the 2010-11 campaign.

Lucic has also reached the 200 NHL games milestone (Oct. 9 vs. Phoenix) and the 100 NHL points accomplishment (Nov. 10 vs. Pittsburgh).

While improving his offensive production, Lucic hasn’t strayed too far from his trademark physical game. The Vancouver, BC native has traded a few fights for goals, but is still a forechecking force and throws his body around the rink with great strength and control.

“He’s having a good year, anybody who scores thirty in this league is a pretty good player. And he’s playing his type of game as well. He’s physically involved. I think he’s winning a lot of his battles and he’s going in front of the net and taking the space that needs to be taken,” Coach Julien said after Tuesday night’s game.

Lucic has fought six times this season and the B’s are 4-1-1 when he drops the gloves.

But offensively is where Lucic has grown above and beyond anyone’s expectations.

Through 69 games this season, Lucic has 30-25-55 totals and a plus-26 rating. He also has 11 multiple-point games. 

Lucic also recorded his second career hat trick on Nov. 18 against Florida and had two, five-game point streaks this season spanning from Oct. 9-21 with 3-3-6 totals and march 3-11 with 2-4-6 totals.

In Marc Savard’s absence, Lucic has played most of the season on a line with David Krejci and Nathan Horton and credits his linemates with much of his success.

“It’s just been a great season so far. I’ve had a lot of fun playing with Krech and Horty. And there have been times with Bergy and also times with Savvy but just chemistry that we’ve been able to create I think has been able to help my game a lot,” he said.
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