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Preview: Canadiens at Bruins

Brendan Gallagher returns for Montreal; Boston going for third straight win under coach Bruce Cassidy

by Matt Kalman / Correspondent

CANADIENS (31-18-8) at BRUINS (28-23-6)

7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, RDS, NHL.TV


Canadiens team scope

Forward Brendan Gallagher will return to the lineup after missing 18 games with a broken hand. The Montreal Canadiens assigned forward Daniel Carr to St. John's of the American Hockey League after a 4-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday to open a roster spot for Gallagher, who has 18 points (six goals, 12 assists) in 39 games. Coach Michel Therrien hopes Gallagher's addition to the lineup will provide secondary scoring. "We need more contributions from all our lines," Therrien said Saturday. "[Phillip] Danault's line is doing really good, but we need more from the rest of our forwards." The Canadiens are 1-4-1 in their past six games and lead the Ottawa Senators by six points for first place in the Atlantic Division; the Senators have four games in hand. Montreal starts a four-day break Monday. "We want to go into every game and give ourselves a chance to win," captain Max Pacioretty said Saturday. "And obviously it hasn't been perfect as of late and we haven't been able to put together a streak, but just a big division game [Sunday] and that's all we can worry about now. I think the past is in the past and, yeah, we've been frustrated, but we've got a chance [Sunday] to win an important game."


Bruins team scope

The Boston Bruins will try to make it three wins in a row under coach Bruce Cassidy, who took over after Claude Julien was fired Tuesday. Goalie Tuukka Rask will start for the 14th time in 15 games after backing up Anton Khudobin during a 4-3 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. Rask last played in a 6-3 win against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. "It's a good break for the body, I think. I mean the schedule's been crazy and you're grinding it out every other night, so I think it wears on you physically," Rask said. "So it's good to get a break and get a couple practice days in and kind of feel fresh and sharp out there, which I did last game ... so physical strength is not going to be an issue today." The Bruins, who lead the Toronto Maple Leafs by one point for third place in the Atlantic Division, start their five-day break Monday, which adds extra importance to the matchup with Montreal. "It's huge. I mean especially against Montreal, it's a team that's in our division we're trying to catch, obviously, and we all know about the rivalry," center Patrice Bergeron said. "So for us it's a huge game, and especially having the break next week, you want to end this on the right note." The Bruins are 0-7-2 in their past nine home games against Montreal and haven't defeated the Canadiens at TD Garden since Jan. 12, 2012.


Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Alexander Radulov

Artturi Lehkonen -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Brendan Gallagher

Sven Andrighetto -- Tomas Plekanec -- Andrew Shaw

Paul Byron -- Michael McCarron -- Torrey Mitchell

Alexei Emelin -- Shea Weber

Andrei Markov -- Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu -- Greg Pateryn

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Nikita Nesterov, David Desharnais, Brian Flynn

Injured: None


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Backes

Peter Cehlarik -- David Krejci -- David Pastrnak

Frank Vatrano -- Ryan Spooner -- Jimmy Hayes

Tim Schaller -- Dominic Moore -- Riley Nash

Zdeno Chara -- Brandon Carlo

Torey Krug -- Adam McQuaid

Kevan Miller -- Colin Miller

Tuukka Rask

Anton Khudobin

Scratched: Matt Beleskey, Joe Morrow, John-Michael Liles

Injured: Austin Czarnik (lower body)


Status report

The Canadiens did not have a morning skate. ... Price can tie Ken Dryden on Montreal's all-time wins list with No. 258. Gallagher will play his 300th NHL regular-season game. ... The Bruins held an optional morning skate. Cassidy said there might be one tweak to the forward lines from the win Saturday.


Who's hot

Pacioretty has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in his past seven games. ... Pastrnak has five goals and four assists during a four-game point streak.

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