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Point hunting

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BROSSARD – The Canadiens are heading to Boston with only one thing on their minds: coming home with another two points.

Sitting three points behind the Bruins for the division lead, the sixth-place Habs have no interest in revisiting the incident that left teammate Max Pacioretty with a broken vertebra after the last meeting between the long-time rivals.

Highlights from the February 9 Habs-Bruins game
“At this point in the season points are crucial. I’m sure everyone else is going to really hype it up that we’re going to Boston, but that’s part of the game,” underlined 11-year veteran Scott Gomez, who has five points in five games against the Bruins this season. “We have to win. We have a goal and we’re all happy Max is fine. We’ll go in there tomorrow and both teams are battling for top spot in the division; we want it and they want it.”

The Zdeno Chara hit on Pacioretty on March 8 – and the subsequent non-suspension on the play – may have set off protests and pleas across the province, but after an 8-6 game on February 9 that featured a combined 182 penalty minutes, the emotions were already running high heading into that tilt.

“This is when the older guys and the vets have to make sure the younger guys know you have to keep your emotions in check,” warned Gomez. “You don’t want to get a penalty that’s going to cost the team. What’s done is done. The best revenge is to get two points, and that’s all we’re going for.”

Looking to make his second playoff run despite his rookie status in the room, P.K. Subban plans on preparing for Thursday’s tilt like he has for every other game this year.

“There are 82 games in a season and they’re all worth two points,” mentioned the 21-year-old, who leads all rookie blue-liners with 35 points. “At this point in the season, games are going to get emotional, especially in the Eastern Conference where it’s so tight.”

With only a green light from the coach standing between Mathieu Darche and TD Banknorth Garden, the 31-year-old winger is hoping to make the move from the injured reserve to the starting lineup against the Bruins.

“There isn’t a better game to test it out to see if I’m back healthy. I’ve always loved playing against Boston, even when I was playing with other teams,” admitted Darche, who has eight points in 14 career games against the Bruins. “When you’re in Montreal, a game with that much rivalry is always fun to play in.

“For sure it’s going to be an emotional game tomorrow night, but we’re not looking at the incidents that happened in the past; we’re both fighting for spots in the standings,” he added. “We want to catch them and tomorrow can make a big difference.”

Shauna Denis is a writer for

Practice comments: Moen | Subban | Gomez | Darche (FR)
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