The Bruins will look to earn the split Saturday night in Montreal in what will be a crucial early-season game as Boston's loss, coupled with Winnipeg's wild 9-8 win over Philadelphia, leaves the Bruins in last place in the Eastern Conference.
Third Period, 18:38, Canadiens 2-1: Montreal with the icing call and Boston uses its timeout to set up what could be its best chance to tie this one up late.
Third Period, 16:38, Canadiens 2-1: Nathan Horton robbed on the point-blank chance at the top of the crease.
Greg Campbell was out for that shift with Horton and Krejci, as Pouliot's first game against his old club has gone gone as he would have liked and he's at least temporarily dropped off that line.
Third Period, 14:01, Canadiens 2-1: Nathan Horton decks Travis Moen with a forearm in the corner of the Bruins zone, but escapes without a penalty call. Bruins have been physical enough, but they need to get the offense going.
Third Period, 10:46, Canadiens 2-1: The Canadiens take their first lead of the night as Tomas Plekanec scores from the right wing.
Plekanec's initial shot from the top of the circle was blocked by Adam McQuaid, but the puck went right back on Plekanec's stick and he fired his second effort inside the far post.
Third Period, 7:37, 1-1: Big chance for the Bruins as Boychuk ties up a one-timer from Marchand at the right point and Peverley and Bergeron each have chances to bang home the rebound but Price keeps it out of the net.
Third Period, 6:55, 1-1: Thornton delivers two big hits on Subban on one shift, much to the delight of the Garden crowd.
Third Period, 3:44, 1-1: Big scrum in front of Thomas after the Habs took a couple extra pokes at the Bruins netminder. Thornton, Campbell and McQuaid all involved, but none can find a dance partner and no penalties are called.
Third Period, 3:10, 1-1: The Garden crowd gives Marchand a big round of applause as he returns to the bench after serving his fighting penalty. Greg Campbell is also back on the ice after getting cut in the second period.
Third Period, 0:00, 1-1: The final frame is under way here at the Garden, with 20 minutes (or more?) left to decide the opener of this key home-and-home series.
Second Intermission Notes: The Bruins' quest for a full 60-minute effort won't be completed in this one. The bad news is they were outplayed for most of the second period. The good news is they are still tied 1-1 and can salvage the two points with a better showing in the third.
Brad Marchand did his best to give his club a spark going into the final frame as he finally got his fight with P.K. Subban on the third try. It was a wild and sloppy punchup, but it got the crowd back into the game and might be able to get the Bruins going again.
Quiet night from both teams' leading scorers. Tyler Seguin has been largely invisible for the Bruins with no shots in 11:29 of ice time, while Max Pacioretty finally got his first shot in the second but also took a tripping penalty. He hasn't been any more of a presence in 8:26 of ice time in his first game against Boston since teh infamous stanchion hit last March.
End Second Period, 1-1: The second frame is complete and the Bruins were not nearly as strong in that one. Montreal outshot them 18-9 and pulled even at 1-1. Boston has to hope Marachand's late fight will light a spark for the third period.
Second Period, 17:55, 1-1: The third time's the charm as Marchand and Subban finally get their fight, squaring off right out of the box.
They shed the gloves, helmets and elbow pads for a lengthy but sloppy fight. Subban missed with a huge right at the start and fell over, but was able to get up to continue. He didn't land his big shots, while Marchand snuck in some short ones.
Josh Gorges got a holding call away from the play and the Bruins are back on the power play.
Second Period, 15:53, 1-1: Fresh from the box, Marchand and Subban drop the gloves and try to get in a legitimate fight, but this time the linesmen jump in and won't let them go. They get two each for delay of game this time.
Second Period, 14:23, 1-1: The Bruins have a golden chance to go back ahead as Rich Peverley is on alone on a clean breakaway, but Price makes the save.
Second Period, 13:47, 1-1: The gloves finally come off as Brad Marchand tries to go with P.K. Subban. Josh Gorges spoils the party by jumping in. Marchand and Subban each get two minutes for holding, not roughing, and it's 4 on 4 hockey. Gorges is not called for the blatant third man in.
Second Period, 13:31, 1-1: Chris Kelly with a rush deep into the Habs zone. He loses control of the puck but it goes in on net, forcing Price to make a save. That's just the fourth shot of the period for the Bruins, while Montreal has 12 so far in the frame as the momentum has tilted to the Habs.
Second Period, 10:27, 1-1: The Canadiens tie it up on a tip in front by Erik Cole after he came out of the box.
Jaroslav Spacek sent the shot in from the left side and Cole redirected it in the slot with Mathieu Darche screening Thomas in front.
Second Period, 10:13, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins fail to convert another power play as it remains a one-goal game with both sides back at full strength.
Second Period, 8:13, Bruins 1-0: Tim Thomas comes up with a huge stop, making a sliding pad save to rob Michaek Cammalleri on a clean breakaway. after the play, Erik Cole is called for slashing and the Bruins go back on the power play.
Second Period, 7:40, Bruins 1-0: The penalties have finally expired and the sides are back at full strength.
Second Period, 5:40, Bruins 1-0: The penalty parade continues, but this time it's Montreal that's caught breaking the rules. Pacioretty is whistled for tripping just after Thornton got out of the box. It will be 4 on 4 for 1:08, then the Bruins will have a brief power play.
Second Period, 4:48, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins will be down two men for 48 seconds as Dennis Seidenberg is called for slashing. Huge kill needed here for the Bruins.
Second Period, 3:35, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins will be shorthanded for the first time as Greg Campbell is called for tripping. Campbell was cut on the leg on the play and headed to the locker room. Thornton will serve the penalty.
Second Period, 2:06, Bruins 1-0: Ference is back on the ice, having received whatever repairs necessary during the intermission. That's good news for the Bruins defense.
Second Period, 0:52, Bruins 1-0: Marchand and Peverley each with chances in front, but Price makes the saves and it remains a one-goal game.
Second Period, 0:00, Bruins 1-0: The middle frame is under way here at the Garden, with the Bruins looking to build on their 1-0 lead on the Habs.
First Intermission Notes: The Bruins controlled play for most of the opening period and have a 1-0 lead, but they had chances to do even more damage.
They have to continue to press the attack over the next two periods and not allow Montreal to hang around in this one.
Adam McQuaid has been very active in joining the attack in his first game back. He has attempted six shots in 5:49, but none has found the net with four blocked and two missing. Andrew Ference played just 2:38 as he left early with an apparent injury. That will bear watching if he can return in the second.
Zdeno Chara has been a workhorse as usual with 9:38 of ice time in the first. He has a pair of shots, while Max Pacioretty has no shots or any other stats in a very quiet 5:05 in the first.
End First Period, Bruins 1-0: The opening 20 minutes are in the books, and it's been a solid start for the Bruins, who take a one-goal lead into the break thanks to a flukey power-play goal.
First Period, 18:37, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins can't convert that power play and Plekanec is back out of the box and free to terrorize Price again.
First Period, 16:37, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins go right back on the power play with Plekanec in the box for interference. Price no doubt feels safer with Plekanec in the box rather than the faceoff circle.
First Period, 14:05, Bruins 1-0: The Bruins strike first with a little help from the Habs. With ex-Bruin Petteri Nokelainen in the box for interference, Tomas Plekanec won the faceoff from Patrice Bergeron straight back to Price, but the Montreal goalie lets the puck slip through his pads.
Bergeron gets credit for the goal as the Bruins take the early lead.
First Period, 12:42, 0-0: The Bruins continue to threaten with Lucic getting a bid at the left post, then Krejci stealing a clear in front for a point-blank chance that Price turned aside.
Krejci followed up with a great backcheck to prevent a possible goal at the other end as it remains scoreless.
First Period, 10:55, 0-0: Shawn Thornton tries to get something going after Michael Blunden took a run at him at center ice. Thornton slipped the hit, then turned around and shook his gloves at Blunden, who refused to go. Thornton tracked him down in the corner and tried again to no avail as the linesmen and other players jumped in quickly.
First Period, 9:39, 0-0: The Bruins aren't going easy on Pacioretty. After Chara and Thomas each got in shots on him in front, Lucic lined him up for a big hit along the boards in front of the penalty boxes.
First Period, 5:37, 0-0: Chris Kelly is awkwardly upended into the boards by Erik Cole. Milan Lucic gives Cole a cross-check in retaliation but no penalties are called on either.
First Period, 4:49, 0-0: The Bruins can't convert on that chance as the ever-popular Subban is back on the ice and the sides are back at even strength.
First Period, 2:49, 0-0: The Bruins get the first power-play chance of the night as Subban is called for roughing.
First Period, 2:40, 0-0: Strong start for the Bruins with good pressure in the Montreal end for the first several shifts, but only one shot and no goals produced yet.
First Period, 0:00, 0-0: We're under way here at the Garden with the Bruins and Habs facing off for the first time this season. Stayed tuned, this one should be fun.
7 p.m.: No need to wait to see Zdeno Chara and Max Pacioretty out on the ice together in this one. Both are listed in the starting lineups.
Chara opens with Johnny Boychuk on defense and Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Rich Peverley up front and Tim Thomas in goal.
The Canadiens counter with Brian Gionta and Tomas Plekanec up front with Pacioretty, Josh Gorges and P.K. Subban on the blue line and Carey Price in net.
6:55 p.m.: Jordan Caron and Steven Kampfer are the scratches for Boston. Adam McQuaid is in the lineup.
Aaron Palushaj and Alexei Emelin are the healthy scratches for Montreal.
6:40 p.m.: It appears that Adam McQuaid will indeed return for this one. He took the warm-ups and was paired with Andrew Ference in the line rushes. Steven Kampfer skated as well but did not participate in the line rushes. He appears to be the scratch on defense, with Jordan Caron out up front.
Here are the full line combinations from warm-ups:
6:30 p.m.: Tim Thomas leads the Bruins out for warm-ups. He'll get the start in goal in this one.
Carey Price is in goal for Montreal.
6 p.m.: The Bruins and Habs will battle for the first time this season in just about an hour.
It will be an especially emotional night for Benoit Pouliot, who will take on his former team for the first time since signing with Boston. Pouliot is fired up to beat his old club, but will have to take care to channel those emotions in the proper direction.
3:30 p.m.: The Bruins are expecting to get Adam McQuaid back for this clash with the Canadiens.
Claude Julien said after the morning skate that the defenseman has been cleared to play and "the possibility of him playing is probably very good."
Montreal will definitely have Max Pacioretty in the lineup, his first game against Zdeno Chara and the Bruins since Chara ended Pacioretty's season with a hit into a stanchion at the Bell Centre last March. Big Z's hit continues to be the focus of attention, despite the Bruins' efforts to move on from that storyline.
8 a.m. ET: The rivalry is about to be renewed.
Whenever the Bruins and Canadiens get together, it's hockey's version of the Hatfields and McCoys. Or would be if the Hatfields and McCoys really didn't like each other.
And there will be plenty of chances to add to a long history of hostility in the coming days as the Habs visit the Garden Thursday for the start of a home-and-home series that will conclude Saturday night in Montreal.
The Canadiens come in fresh from 5-1 win over Philadelphia on Wednesday night. That victory snapped a six-game losing streak and came after Montreal lost its first five home games in a season for the first time in its 102-year history.
Max Pacioretty was the star for Montreal, scoring a pair of goals and an assist against the Flyers. He was doubtful to even play after suffering a wrist injury Monday against Florida, but made a quick recovery and should be in the lineup Thursday in Boston. That will pit him against Zdeno Chara for the first time since the Bruins captain ended Pacioretty's season last March with a controversial hit into a stanchion at the Bell Centre.
Even with Pacioretty back, the Habs are dealing with a number of key injuries. Their defense has been decimated with Andrei Markov once again sidelined with a knee injury and Chris Campoli out with a torn hamstring, though they did get Jaroslav Spacek back on Monday from a rib injury. Forwards Scott Gomez (upper body) and Ryan White (groin) also remain sidelined.
Montreal is also without assistant coach Perry Pearn, who became the sacrificial lamb for the club's 2-5-2 start when he was fired just before Wednesday's game. Head coach Jacques Martin and general manager Pierre Gauthier may not escape the ax either if the Canadiens can't pull out of their early tailspin.
The Bruins have their own issues, as they stand at 3-5-0 and have not won back-to-back games this season, but facing the Canadiens in an emotional clash might be just what they need to get back on track.
The puck drops at 7 p.m., so check back here for updates on all the action from the Garden.