BROSSARD – When the Bruins visit the Bell Centre Tuesday night, the Habs will be waiting with a score to settle.
After dropping their first game of the season against Boston at TD Garden, in what was regarded around the League as one of the wildest tilts of the year, the Canadiens will be looking for a measure of revenge versus the Beantown squad when the puck drops at 7:30 p.m.
But don’t count on the Habs to get their payback racking up fighting majors. They’ll instead be looking to hit the Bruins where it hurts the most – the scoresheet.
“Of course you remember what happened in the last game, but you have to play smart. They’re a big, physical team and that’s the way they play,” explained Hal Gill of the Habs’s need to keep a clear head in what’s bound to be an emotional game. “We got caught in their trap and we have to make sure that we avoid that this time around, play our own game and stick to the things that bring us success. There’s a lot at stake here. They’re a divisional rival that we’re close behind in the standings and there are a big two points up for grabs.”
While the Habs will be looking to stick to their game plan for the full 60 minutes of action, they can also look forward to having the added physical presence of gritty, 6’4”, 211lbs Paul Mara in the lineup since the last time the teams met.
“It’s exciting. The Boston-Montreal rivalry is huge and we’re coming down to those last 15-20 games of the season and these are always intense games for every player, every coach and all the fans in both cities,” expressed Mara who rejoined the Canadiens since the teams’ last meeting in Boston.
“I’m just going to go out there and play my game. I want to make simple, hard plays, play physical and when the situation calls for it, protect and defend my teammates.”
Another player looking forward to Tuesday’s matchup is Max Pacioretty
who not only has six points to his name in three games against the Bruins this season, but also seems to have a knack for being at the centre of the action when the rival clubs meet.
After scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to cap off the Habs’ comeback against Boston at the Bell Centre on Jan. 8, he also tallied two goals in their last encounter and appeared to set some of the game’s physicality in motion after an exchange with Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara.
“We’re pretty pumped up for tonight. There’s really not many words that can describe it. There’s been so many tough games between Boston and Montreal since I’ve been here and that’s sort of fueled the way a lot of guys in this room feel about that team,” explained Pacioretty, who will be looking to keep his point-streak against the Bruins alive Tuesday night.
“We know how much they hate us and we know how much we hate them, and if that’s part of the reason I’ve been having success against their team, then that’s great. We obviously remember the last game; whatever happened, happened and we’re prepared to do whatever it takes to win tonight.”Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.
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