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Montr?al Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins @NHLdotcom
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GAME: Montreal Canadiens (31-25-6-2) at Boston Bruins (30-15-13-6).

TIME: Thursday, 7 p.m. EST.

Andrew Raycroft is one of the leading contenders for the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.

A few more games against the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins goaltender could have the award locked up.

Raycroft will look to stay sharp against the Canadiens when the teams continue their storied rivalry at FleetCenter.

Raycroft has stopped 62 of 63 shots in two games against the Canadiens this season, recording a 1-1 tie on Dec. 16 and a 1-0 victory on Jan. 31. Both games were played in Montreal.

Ironically, Raycroft grew up in Belleville, Ontario as a Canadiens' fan.

"I grew up in Ontario and everyone liked Toronto, so I wanted to go against the grain. Patrick Roy was my favorite player," Raycroft said.

Montreal isn't the only team the 23-year-old has played well against this season. Raycroft is among the NHL leaders with a 1.95 goals-against average and hasn't allowed more than three goals in 18 games.

Boston has been one of the league's hottest teams lately despite failing to score a goal in each of its last two games.

The Bruins, who had a 12-game point streak snapped with a 2-0 loss to Florida on Monday, skated to a 0-0 tie against the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

The start of Tuesday's game at Nassau Coliseum was delayed nearly 90 minutes due to a problem with the ice, but Boston's Felix Potvin didn't have any trouble recording his fourth shutout of the season.

"The ice was a little soft and slushy in the first period, but it was better in the second," Potvin said. "I didn't notice anything when I was in that net."

Boston, 8-1-3-2 in its last 14 games, likely will be without rookie forward Patrice Bergeron on Thursday. Bergeron, among the rookie leaders with 36 points, injured his shoulder early in the first period Tuesday and did not return.

"I don't know how severe it is yet. We'll have to get back and have the doctors evaluate him," Bruins coach Mike Sullivan said.

Montreal scored three unanswered goals in the third period, including the go-ahead score by Steve Begin with 41 seconds left in regulation, in a 4-2 victory over visiting Ottawa on Tuesday.

Rookie Michael Ryder scored two power-play goals for the Canadiens, winners of three of four following a season-high four-game losing streak.

"We knew we had a chance to win the game, even though we were down by a goal," Ryder said. "We knew we had nothing to lose."

The win moved the Canadiens into sole possession of seventh place in the Eastern Conference - one point ahead of the Islanders.

Montreal's Jose Theodore is 1-1-1 with an 0.65 goals-against average against Boston this season.

STANDINGS (through Feb. 24): Canadiens - 70 points, 4th place, 11 PB, Northeast Division. Bruins - 79 points, 3rd place, 2 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Canadiens - Richard Zednik, 19 goals; Mike Ribeiro, 36 assists and 52 points; Darren Langdon, 117 PIM. Bruins - Glen Murray, 27 goals; Joe Thornton, 45 assists and 61 points; Doug Doull, 108 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 24): Canadiens - Power play: 18.2 percent (46 for 253), 7th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.8 percent (198 for 242), 24th. Bruins - Power play: 16.0 percent (38 for 238), 14th. Penalty killing: 84.0 percent (216 for 257), 19th.

GOALTENDERS: Canadiens - Theodore (24-23-5, 5 SO, 2.19 GAA); Mathieu Garon (7-4-1, 2.44). Bruins - Raycroft (21-14-7, 3, 1.95); Potvin (9-7-6, 4, 2.64).

SEASON SERIES: Bruins, 2-0-1-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 31; Bruins, 1-0. At Montreal, Raycroft stopped 34 shots for his second shutout of the season, and Murray scored his third goal in two games to lead Boston.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Canadiens - 14-14-2-2 on the road; Bruins - 12-9-7-1 at home.

Associated Press
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