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Bruins-Canadiens Preview

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For most of the last month, the Boston Bruins have been tough to stop on the road.

Boston goes for its sixth win in seven road games and a chance to escape the Northeast Division cellar Tuesday when it visits the Montreal Canadiens for the second time in eight days.

Boston (14-11-2) lost five of its first six road contests this season, while getting outscored by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. However, sparked by shootout wins at Washington on Nov. 15 and at Pittsburgh a week later, the Bruins have since won five of six away from home.

The surge includes a 6-5 victory Dec. 4 at Montreal. Defenseman Brad Stuart scored two third-period goals - the second with 1:48 to play - after the Bruins squandered an early three-goal lead.

The Bruins have 30 points and begin play in last place in the Northeast, but are just one point behind Ottawa and Toronto, and just seven in back of second-place Montreal. Both the Senators and Maple Leafs will be in action Tuesday.

Boston, though, will be without speedy rookie left wing Phil Kessel at least for this contest after it was revealed Monday he's being treated for a medical condition unrelated to hockey.

"At this time there is no further update on Phil's condition. When there is an update, and it is appropriate to do so, we will update everyone on Phil's health," read a statement from Kessel's family.

The fifth overall pick in the 2006 draft after playing one collegiate season at Minnesota, the 19-year-old Kessel has five goals and four assists and in 27 games. He also is one of four rookies with a shootout goal, joining Los Angeles' Anze Kopitar, Anaheim's Ryan Shannon and Colorado's Wojtek Wolski.

The Bruins on Monday recalled center Yan Stastny from Providence of the AHL. Stastny had one assist in 11 games with Boston earlier this season.

Boston is coming off a 5-1 home loss to New Jersey on Saturday, in which it was outshot 42-20. Tim Thomas and Hannu Toivonen combined for 37 saves in the defeat, and Marc Savard scored his first goal in six games and seventh this season.

Montreal (16-8-5) hasn't won at the Bell Centre in regulation since Nov. 22. Since then, the Canadiens are 2-2-1 with both wins coming by shootout.

Sheldon Souray scored his team-high 11th goal of the season early in the third period Saturday against Eastern Conference-leading Buffalo, before leaving with an apparent right wrist injury in a 3-2 shootout loss. He is not expected to play in this game.

Souray is the league's leading scorer among defensemen with 11 goals, including nine on the power play, and 24 points. The eight-year veteran had a career-high 15 goals for the Canadiens in 2003-04.

"We were able to go into overtime because we scored two power-play goals and Souray is a big part of our power play," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said, adding that the loss of Souray would be "huge."

This also will the first game for the Canadiens since news broke that general manager Bob Gainey's daughter was missing at sea. Laura Gainey, 25, was swept overboard during a storm in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday.

Bob Gainey has left the team temporarily.

"It's not an easy situation," said Canadiens captain Saku Koivu. "Hockey is not the first thing on our minds right now. But the brutal reality is that life goes on. We have a game and we have to be ready to battle for the two points."

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