Game 19: Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens
Sunday, March 3rd, 7:30 pm, TD Garden, Boston
TV: NBC Sports Network, RDS Radio: 98.5 The Sports Hub
Fresh off their sixth straight win yesterday over the Lightning, the Bruins have another tough task waiting for them at the Garden tonight as the Montreal Canadiens are in town. Currently tied with Bruins atop the Northeast Division, the Habs are coming off an ugly 7-6 overtime loss last night to the Penguins, but do not have a regulation loss in their last ten games (7-0-3).
Canadiens Notes: Despite last night’s loss, the Habs have been on a tear and have owned the top spot in the Eastern Conference for much of the last two weeks. They come to the Garden with a solid road record (5-1-2) and the second best goal differential in the East (+14), second only to the Bruins. Offensively, the Canadiens are getting scoring from across the lineup, with 11 players with double digit points. Max Pacioretty leads the team with 18 points (7 G, 11 A), and rookies Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher have 12 and 11 points respectively. The Habs also recently acquired Michael Ryder from the Stars, though he’s scoreless in his first two games wearing the bleu, blanc et rouge.
On the blue line, the oft-injured Andrei Markov is going through a healthy spell, and is tied for second in scoring with 13 points. He is however the owner of one of only three minus ratings on the team. Raphael Diaz and everybody’s favorite P.K. Subban have been solid, and second year player Alexei Emelin loves to throw his weight around.
Backup Peter Budaj will get the start between the pipes for Carey Price, who took the loss last night after allowing all seven goals. Budaj has a 2-1-1 record with a .905 save percentage and a 2.45 goals against average.
Bruins Notes: The Black and Gold have continued to find ways to win and with yesterday’s victory leapfrogged the Canadiens back to the top of the East, though the two remain tied in points (B’s have three less games played). The Bruins handed the Canadiens a 2-1 loss back on February 6th, with Tyler Seguin and David Krejci scoring third period goals to help the B’s rally back. Seguin has continued to struggle to put pucks in the net, though he did have a pretty power play goal yesterday against the Lightning. It was just his fourth of the season, but his two-way game is much improved and he has been contributing in other ways. The Bruins also netted two power play goals, their first home tallies of the season. Shawn Thornton should be back in the lineup today as well, after being scratched for Jay Pandolfo yesterday.
Defensively the Bruins finally seem to be tightening up, as aside from the first period power play goals they allowed against Tampa, they shut down the most high powered offense in the East. Zdeno Chara finally seems to be coming into his own, Dennis Seidenberg has been a force, and Dougie Hamilton seems to be emerging from a rough patch with points in his last two games. They’ll once again have their work cut out for them with the Canadiens, who have some weapons of the their own though.
Tuukka Rask should be back in net today after Anton Khudobin earned the victory yesterday, and will look to improve his already stellar 11-1-2 record. His 1.82 goals against average is currently third best in the league.
Other Game Notes
- Fight Card: The Bruins and Canadiens both have 12 fights on the year, with new addition Brandon Prust with a team high six. Adam McQuaid and Gregory Campbell both dropped the gloves yesterday against Tampa (the Bruins’ first fights in almost eight games), though Shawn Thornton should be back in the lineup today so he could be looking to make sure he retains that spot going forward.
- The Bruins are off to their best start since 1929-30.
Seguin Goal From 2/6