CANADIENS (25-29-10) at BRUINS (39-15-8)
5 p.m. ET; NESN, SN, TVAS, NHL.TV
The Boston Bruins will look for their 16th win in 21 games and try to close the gap on first place in the Atlantic Division when they host the Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden on Saturday.
The Bruins, who seek their third straight win and are 15-5-0 in their past 20 games, trail the Tampa Bay Lightning by six points for first place with three games in hand. Boston leads the third-place Toronto Maple Leafs by one point with four games in hand.
Bruins goaltender Anton Khudobin will start; No. 1 goaltender Tuukka Rask, who has a minor undisclosed injury, will be the backup.
The Canadiens, 3-0-2 in their past five games after a six-game losing streak (0-4-2), are nine points behind the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.
Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty will not play; he returned to Montreal on Saturday after sustaining a lower-body injury in the third period of a 6-3 win at the New York Islanders on Friday.
Players to watch
Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past four games.
Bruins forward Brad Marchand has 28 points (nine goals, 19 assists) in his past 20 games.
They said it
"We're playing good hockey the last couple of weeks. We've got to keep building. Obviously not making the playoffs is hard, but we've got to stick together. We've got a lot of young guys coming in and chipping in." -- Canadiens forward Alex Galchenyuk
"So it's not all falling on one player ... we've kind of chopped it up by committee, that's what we've asked our guys to do, just be themselves, play to their ability, because I don't think you can replace Patrice with one player." -- Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy on winning the past two games without injured center Patrice Bergeron
Canadiens projected lineup
Alex Galchenyuk -- Jonathan Drouin -- Brendan Gallagher
Nicolas Deslauriers -- Phillip Danault -- Artturi Lehkonen
Paul Byron -- Jacob de la Rose -- Nikita Scherbak
Logan Shaw -- Byron Froese -- Andrew Shaw
Jordie Benn -- Jeff Petry
Noah Juulsen -- Karl Alzner
Mike Reilly -- David Schlemko
Scratched: Rinat Valiev, Daniel Carr
Injured: Carey Price (concussion), Ales Hemsky (concussion), Charles Hudon, (hand), Victor Mete (hand), Max Pacioretty (lower body)
Bruins projected lineup
Brad Marchand -- Riley Nash -- David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- Rick Nash
Danton Heinen -- David Backes -- Brian Gionta
Tim Schaller -- Sean Kuraly -- Noel Acciari
Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug -- Kevan Miller
Nick Holden -- Brandon Carlo
Scratched: Adam McQuaid, Tommy Wingels
Injured: Patrice Bergeron (fractured foot), Matt Grzelcyk (lower body)
Neither team held a morning skate. ... Valiev was recalled from Laval of the American Hockey League on Friday. ... Mete, like Pacioretty returned to Montreal on Saturday.
Galchenyuk had his second career hat trick and matched a career-best with four points against the Islanders on Friday. ... Rick Nash has three points (two goals, one assist) in his first three games with the Bruins since he was traded from the New York Rangers on Sunday.