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Game 1 preview: MTL vs. BOS

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

Eastern Conference Second Round Series : Game 1

Canadiens (0-0) vs. Bruins (0-0)

On Thursday, the Habs will revisit a historic rivalry against the NHL’s top regular season team at the TD Garden.

Having finished the regular season with 100 points (46-28-8), the Canadiens are pegged as the underdog team in a playoff match-up against the Boston Bruins, who compiled a 54-19-9 record for a league-leading 117 points. However, the Habs do hold a 3-1 edge in regular season meetings in 2013-14, winning both games played in Beantown.

Against the Lightning in round one, the Canadiens conjured up some of their best hockey of the season en route to a four-game sweep of their division rival. They outscored Tampa Bay 13-7 at five-on-five and only trailed on the score board for three minutes in the entire series. Meanwhile, Boston’s even strength play was somewhat more muted in their five-game series against a tenacious Detroit Red Wings squad. Claude Julien’s troops narrowly out-scored Mike Babcock’s team six goals to four at five-on-five.

However, the Bostonians performed up to expectations on the man advantage, having scored five goals on 26 shots in just under 20 minutes of five-on-four time against the Wings. Meanwhile, the Habs have only produced ten shots on net in 22 minutes at five-on-four against Tampa, scoring twice.

There are no expected line-up changes for Montreal, except that veteran Travis Moen, a penalty kill stalwart, may return to action in Game 1. Forward Alex Galchenyuk skated alone before practice on Wednesday, but is not expected to return from his lower-body injury just yet. As for Boston, defenseman Dennis Seidenberg have been skating in preparation for a return to play, while Daniel Paille could take to the ice as soon as Tuesday night for the Bruins.

Puck drop will be at 7:30PM E.S.T.

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