The Bruins try to extend their win streak to three on Friday and spoil the 100th birthday party for the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
It?s not been a Centennial year to remember for the Habs, and Friday marks the final celebration of the storied franchise?s centennial. The Bruins are hoping to add one more forgettable game to what has been a forgettable 100th season for Montreal as the Habs have battled on-ice failure and off-ice turmoil.
?It would be nice for sure to go in there and spoil it,? said former Canadien and current Bruins forward Steve Begin.The Bruins haven?t lost in regulation to the Canadiens since Game 7 of the 2008 Eastern Conference quarterfinals on April 21, 2008. Last season, the Bruins went 5-0-1 in the regular-season series against the Habs and then swept the Eastern Conference quarterfinals series over Montreal in four games. They?re 9-0-2 in their last 11 meetings (regular season and playoffs) against the Canadiens.
The Bruins are coming off a 4-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning and are 6-1-3 over their last 10 games. The Habs, meanwhile, played in Buffalo Thursday night and lost 6-2 to the Sabres. They?re 4-4-2 over their last 10 games.
When And WhereFriday, Dec. 4, 8 p.m. (NESN)
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC
RecordsBruins (14-8-5, 33 points, 33 points, second place in Northeast Division, fifth place in the Eastern Conference)
Canadiens (12-14-2, 26 points, fourth in Northeast Division, 12th in the Eastern Conference)
Head to HeadThis is the second meeting of the season between the Bruins and the Canadiens The Canadiens won the first game 2-1 in a shootout.
Patrice Bergeron‘s goal with 52 seconds left in regulation helped the Bruins avoid a historic third straight shutout, but Michael Cammalleri scored in the shootout. Tim Thomas made 25 saves, giving up only Glen Metropolit‘s first-period goal and Cammalleri’s in the shootout. Carey Price stopped 42 Boston shots for his first win in more than a month, but he failed to earn his first shutout in more than a year.
The Bruins and Canadiens hook up again on Feb. 4 in Boston, on Feb. 7 in Montreal, on March 2 in Boston and then on March 13 in Montreal.
The Bruins are 262-330-103-5 all-time against Montreal.
The Marco Sturm-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi line combined for eight points on Wednesday night and has been one of the Bruins’ better trios recently.
?They played well, all three of them,? said head coach Claude Julien. ?I thought they were in sync [Wednesday]. Marco skated well and was driving to the net. When you do those things, you get rewarded. … Those guys were just on top of their game.?
The Bruins are beginning a stretch of three straight divisional tilts. They play Montreal on Friday and then head home for two straight games against Phil Kessel and the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night (7 p.m., NESN) and Thursday night (7 p.m., NESN).
?We know what we have ahead of us, we talked about it and we got a tough two games coming up here and we are heading in on a good note,? said Bruins center Marc Savard. ?It?s going to be a good challenge for us.?The Canadiens were busy with transactions this week. First, they placed defenseman Jay Leach on waivers on Tuesday, and he was claimed by the San Jose Sharks. Then they traded Kyle Chipchura to the Ducks for a 2010 fourth-round draft pick.
Blake Wheeler–Marc Savard–Byron Bitz
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Vladimir Sobotka–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Shawn Thornton–Steve Begin–Daniel Paille
Zdeno Chara–Derek Morris
Andrew Ference–Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart–Matt Hunwick
Mike Cammalleri–Tomas Plekanec–Andrei Kostitsyn.
Tom Pyatt–Scott Gomez–Ryan White
Max Pacioretty–Glen Metropolit–Travis Moen
Matt D’Agostini–Maxim Lapierre–Sergei Kostitsyn
Jaroslav Spacek–Roman Hamrlik
Marc-Andre Bergeron–Paul Mara
Ryan O’Byrne–Josh Gorges
Tim Thomas is 7-6-3 with a 2.27 GAA and a .920 save percentage. Thomas has three shutouts this season and made a season-high 39 saves in a 4-1 win over the Lightning on Wednesday.
Tuukka Rask recently started six straight games for the Bruins, the longest string of starts in his NHL career. His record overall is now 7-2-2 with a 2.02 GAA and a .929 save percentage.
Carey Price is 7-10-2 with a 2.86 GAA and a .909 save percentage.
Jaroslav Halak is 5-3-0 with a 2.62 GAA and a .904 save percentage.
Patrice Bergeron leads the Bruins in scoring with eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points. Bergeron had a goal and two assists on Wednesday and has six assists and eight points in his last six games.
Mark Recchi had three helpers on Wednesday and has four in his last two games. Recchi now has 10 assists and 14 points this season.
Marco Sturm lit the lamp twice on Wednesday and now has eight goals and 14 points this season.
Captain Zdeno Chara had two assists on Wednesday and has three in his last two games. Chara leads the defense in points with 16 and leads team in assists with 15.
Center Marc Savard scored his 200th career goal on Wednesday and now has five this season. He also has a four-game point streak going, with three assists and one goal during that span, and has 11 points this season.
The Bruins went 1-for-3 on the power play on Wednesday. They are 8-for-32 over the last nine games and 16-for-94 this season with a 17 percent success rate.
The Bruins killed off all six Tampa Bay power plays on Wednesday. They have allowed just four shorthanded goals on the last 31 power plays they have faced and have only allowed 15 on 103 power plays faced this season.
The Bruins are 6-3-3 on the road this season.
The Bruins are 4-0-1 against the Northeast Division this season.
The Bruins are 9-4-5 against the Eastern Conference
Forward Tomas Plekanec leads the Canadiens with 19 assists and 25 points.
Forward Mike Cammalleri is second on the team in points with 22. He has 12 goals and 10 assists.
Forward Scott Gomez scored a goal in Buffalo Thursday night and has three goals and nine assists for 12 points.
Former Bruin Glen Metropolit (five goals, seven assists) has 12 points.
The Canadiens are 14-for-83 on the power play with a 16.9 percent success rate.
The Canadiens penalty kill has killed off 23 of 115 power plays faced.
The Canadiens are 7-6-2 at the Bell Centre this season, 4-2-0 against the Northeast Division and 10-6-1 against the Eastern Conference.
Black and BlueBruins
Milan Lucic is out for 2-4 weeks with a high ankle sprain.
Defenseman Andrei Markov is on injured reserve (left ankle tendon) but is now expected to be out until late December or early January.
Benoit Pouliot (wrist) and Brian Gionta (broken left foot) are on injured reserve.
This Date in Bruins HistoryOn Dec. 4, 1986, Ray Bourque scores the game-winning goal at 19:59 of the third period against Quebec.
Overheard?It is one of those things that you go through challenges at times, and at the beginning of the year, with expectations so high and us having such a slow start, it really threw everybody for a loop. Our team, our fans, and our media, everyone was included. Right now, we are slowly finding our identity and our groove.?
–Claude Julien on the Bruins’ recovery from a slow start
Former Hab Steve Begin is excited to play his former team.
Peter Chiarelli made a nifty save.
What emotions will Bruins fans feel upon the return of Phil Kessel?
Here?s a satirical tribute to the Habs? Centennial.
Desperation is setting in for the Habs.
Thursday night’s loss to the Sabres was a bit ugly.
The 2010 NHL Draft is expected to be held in Los Angeles.
The Blackhawks signed Jonathan Toews, Patrick Kane and Duncan Keith to deals.
Darren Dreger writes that John Stevens could be on the hot seat in Philadelphia.
For the first time in three games, the Bruins finished a game in 60 minutes of regulation. Boston displayed a commitment to its game plan and squashed any potential game-turning moments that Tampa could have seized.
On Friday, they will need to do the same, and setting the tone from the opening faceoff will be essential. There is a two-hour pregame ceremony planned, and throughout this year-long celebration of 100 years of Habs hockey, the Canadiens players have not had much success following these ceremonies, coming out flat after the lengthy productions. The Bruins must capitalize on that and silence the Bell Centre crowd immediately.
If they can do that successfully, the Bruins should continue their recent streak of dominance over their hated rivals.