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Canadiens-Bruins Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: Montreal Canadiens (29-23-9) at Boston Bruins (25-27-10).

TIME: Thursday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Montreal Canadiens haven't made things easy on themselves recently during their grueling road trip.

The Canadiens try for a more disciplined effort when they wrap up their six-game trip with a matchup against the Boston Bruins.

Montreal was short-handed 11 times and gave up four power-play goals in Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The defeat dropped the Canadiens to 3-1-1 on the trip, which started after the Olympic break.

The Maple Leafs took 20 of their 34 shots with the man advantage against the Canadiens, who were called for seven consecutive penalties during one stretch in the second period. Montreal has allowed its opponents to score seven goals on 26 power-play chances over the last three games.

"I don't know what the other guys felt but I'm sure they were tired," Montreal winger Alex Kovalev said. "Playing two games in a row and killing penalties is definitely tough."

The loss ended Montreal's streak of earning a point in nine straight games (6-0-3) that has helped it move into eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

Richard Zednik, Andrei Markov and Christopher Higgins scored for the Canadiens, and Cristobal Huet stopped 28 shots in his 11th straight start.

Tomas Plekanec was not in the lineup Tuesday after injuring his shoulder against Philadelphia on Monday. Garth Murray took his place and played for the first time since hurting his shoulder on Jan. 21.

The Bruins have lost seven of their last nine, including Tuesday's 3-2 defeat to the Buffalo Sabres. Boston is tied with the New York Islanders for 11th in the East, seven points behind Montreal.

"We have no choice but to bounce back after tonight," coach Mike Sullivan said. "We're still in the mix, and we have to keep fighting everyday to make the playoffs."

Patrice Bergeron and Milan Jurcina scored for the Bruins, whose last six losses have been by one goal.

"It's tough to win when you only score two goals a night," Sullivan said. "We just need to find a way to find the back of the net."

P.J. Axelsson missed his third straight game for Boston after injuring his knee on March 1.

STANDINGS: Canadiens - 67 points, 3rd place, 20 PB, Northeast Division. Bruins - 60 points, 5th place, 27 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Canadiens - Michael Ryder, 24 goals; Saku Koivu, 30 assists; Kovalev, 45 points; Steve Begin, 99 PIM. Bruins - Marco Sturm, 23 goals; Bergeron, 32 assists and 52 points; Hal Gill, 86 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Canadiens - Power play: 19.0 percent (64 for 337), 7th in NHL. Penalty killing: 80.7 percent (313 for 388), 23rd. Bruins - Power play: 15.6 percent (51 for 326), 24th. Penalty killing: 84.3 percent (307 for 364), 8th.

GOALTENDERS: Canadiens - Huet (9-6-4, 3 SO, 2.46 GAA); Yann Danis (3-2-0, 1, 2.69). Bruins - Andrew Raycroft (8-17-2, 3.58); Tim Thomas (8-5-4, 1, 2.32).

SEASON SERIES: Canadiens, 3-1.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 4; Canadiens, 2-0. At Montreal, Huet made 35 saves for his fifth career shutout and first with the Canadiens.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Canadiens - 13-16-5 on the road; Bruins - 12-12-6 at home.

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