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Bruins could tie Flyers for conference lead with win

by Dan Rosen
BRUINS (38-19-8) at CANADIENS (36-23-7)


Last 10 -- Boston 7-2-1; Montreal 6-3-1

Season series -- Montreal won the first three meetings, but Boston beat the Habs in a wild and physical 8-6 thriller on Feb. 9 at TD Garden. That snapped the Canadiens' five-game winning streak against the Bruins, which dated to last season.

Big Story -- This could be a big swing game for both teams. A win for the visitors coupled with a Flyers regulation loss would give Boston the same number of points as conference-leading Philadelphia. A regulation win for the home team would bring the Habs within three points of the Bruins for first in the Northeast Division.

Team Scope:

Bruins --
David Krejci's production (3 goals, 9 assists in his last 11 games) has solidified the Bruins' top-six forward group and given their No. 1 line a commanding look. The line of Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton was on the ice for both of the Bruins' goals in Saturday's 3-2 overtime loss to Pittsburgh, with Krejci scoring one goal and assisting on the other. Boston had won seven straight prior to the overtime loss to Pittsburgh.

"Right now we're seeing David Krejci playing the way I think we expect him to play," Bruins coach Claude Julien said according to the Boston Globe. "So if we're amazed by that, that's the way David Krejci should play and that's what we expect out of him. He's capable of making those plays. He's capable of seeing the ice well. His two linemates are also playing pretty well, so that's made for a pretty successful line lately."

Canadiens -- The Habs might be seeking a measure of revenge Tuesday after giving up eight goals in a penalty-filled loss to the Bruins a month ago. Montreal could be without Michael Cammalleri and Brent Sopel as each missed practice Monday, and according to reports from's Arpon Basu, Canadiens coach Jacques Martin would not solidify their statuses for Tuesday's game.

Montreal is playing well at the right time, with wins in four straight games and five out of six since getting shut out by Calgary in the Heritage Classic.

This is Montreal's only home game within the first two weeks of March. Goalie Carey Price was named the NHL's Third Star of the Week ending March 6 for going 3-0 with a shutout, a 1.00 GAA and .974 save percentage.

"Our strength is obviously in our skill and our speed," Price said Monday. "We've got a few physical guys in here, but for the most part we're going to hurt guys on scoreboards and not so much physically. We just have to play our game and hopefully we can hurt them that way."

Who's Hot -- Montreal defenseman Hal Gill has goals in back-to-back games after going his first 60 of the season without one. Prior to scoring last Thursday at Florida, Gill hadn't scored since Dec. 31, 2009, a span of 107 games, including playoffs.

Injury Report -- Cammalleri and Sopel are unknowns as neither practiced Monday. Mathieu Darche remains out with a groin injury and Jaroslav Spacek is on injured reserve after having knee surgery. … Boston defenseman Andrew Ference is out with a lower-body injury and fellow blueliner Steven Kampfer won't play due to a concussion.

Stat Pack -- Boston defenseman Matt Bartkowski likely will play his fourth NHL game Tuesday in Montreal, but his first against an opponent other than the Pittsburgh Penguins. … The last time the Habs and Bruins met the game featured 182 penalty minutes, including 12 fighting majors, 14 roughing minors and seven misconduct penalties.

Puck Drop -- "They don't like us, we don't like them and it makes for good hockey," Montreal center Scott Gomez said of the Bruins. "We want to catch them. They've played outstanding, they made some moves, they're a well-coached team and we'll have to be at our best to beat them."
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