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Game preview: MTL @ BOS

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
CANADIENS (28-20-5) vs. BRUINS (34-15-3)

On Thursday night, The Habs and the Bruins will renew their Original Six rivalry at the TD Garden in Boston.

The visiting team is coming off a 3-0 win over Carolina at the Bell Centre on Tuesday, which snapped a four-game losing streak. Carey Price turned aside all 36 shots faced and his defensemen blocked 27 more to shut out Eric Staal, Jeff Skinner and the rest of the Hurricanes offense. Meanwhile, Brandon Prust beat Anton Khudobin early in the first period and the Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher line added two more markers to put the game out of reach. Max Pacioretty now has a team-leading 22 goals, while Gallagher scored his 14th of the year.

Despite losing veteran defenseman Dennis Seidenberg for the season due to a knee injury, the Boston Bruins are thriving. The team, led by perennial All-Star Zdeno Chara, has allowed the fewest goals in the NHL (115 through 52 games), while managing to create 159 goals in the same span, sixth best in the league. On Tuesday night, the Atlantic Division-leading Bruins ran their point streak to six games (5-0-1) with a dominating performance against the Florida Panthers. David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Jarome Iginla paced the team to a 6-2 home win, making it three outings in a row in which Boston has managed to put six goals past opposing goaltenders. In the absence of Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk and Matt Bartkowski have picked up the responsibility of playing the toughest minutes for the Bruins. Both rearguards logged over 21 minutes of icetime on Tuesday. Tuuka Rask made 28 saves while former Bruin Tim Thomas was victimized six times on 41 shots against.

Peter Budaj will be in net for the Habs. His counterpart Tuukka Rask is 24-12-3 with a 2.07 goals against average and a 0.930 save percentage.

The Habs are on a four-game winning streak against the Bruins, dating back to February 2013. Montreal’s last win in Boston, which took place on March 27 2013, was a wild 6-5 shootout affaire. Andrei Markov tied the game at five apiece with just nine seconds left on the clock in regulation time, allowing Brendan Gallagher to win it for his team in the sixth round of the shootout.

Puck drop will be at 7:00 PM E.S.T.

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