NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 30th
(All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (28-20-5) at Boston Bruins (34-15-3), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins and their red-hot offense will try to
extend their winning streak to a season-high five games as the B's host the
rival Montreal Canadiens in Thursday's clash at TD Garden.
Boston has matched a season high with four straight wins and Claude Julien's
club has notched six goals in each of its past three victories. All told, the
Bruins are outscoring the opposition by a 21-8 margin during their fourth
four-game winning streak of the season.
In order to win five straight for the first time since a six-game run from
Feb. 17-March 2 of last season, however, the Bruins will have to solve a
Canadiens club that has won four straight in this series. Montreal took the
first of four scheduled meetings between the Atlantic Division foes on Dec. 5,
earning a 2-1 decision at the Bell Centre.
The Habs also have claimed two in a row and three of the past five encounters
in Boston and Montreal recorded a 6-5 shootout victory when the Original Sox
clubs last met in Beantown on March 27 of last season.
The Bruins' latest six-goal performance came Tuesday evening against a
familiar face, as the Bruins victimized Florida Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas
in his return to Boston. The former Bruins backstop gave up six goals on 41
shots in Florida's 6-2 loss at TD Garden.
The 39-year-old Thomas played for Boston for eight seasons (2002-03 &
2005-12), leading the Bruins to the 2011 Stanley Cup while earning the Conn
Smythe Trophy. He also won two Vezina Trophies during his tenure with the
Bruins and Tuesday marked Thomas' first game in Boston since he left the club
after the 2011-12 season.
Milan Lucic had two goals for the Bruins, who hold a four-point lead over
Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic.
David Krejci, Zdeno Chara, Reilly Smith and Shawn Thornton also lit the lamp,
while Tuukka Rask stopped 28-of-30 shots for the victors.
"Yeah, we score five, six goals a game, you kind of expect to win," Rask said.
"I know it's not going to happen every game, but it's good to have that
offense going like that. We've been scoring goals because we play our system,
not because we're trying to do too much out there, and that's a great sign."
Tuesday's triumph pushed Boston's record at home this season to 20-5-2. The
Bruins have won two straight and four of their last five at TD Garden.
Montreal had lost four straight in regulation before recording a 3-0 win over
the visiting Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. Carey Price made 36 saves for his
third shutout of the season to anchor the Habs to a much-needed victory.
"We played very well defensively tonight," Price said. "We have a lot of guys
sacrifice themselves blocking shots."
Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher each had a goal and an assist for the
Canadiens. Brandon Prust also lit the lamp.
Montreal currently holds the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference and moved
four points ahead of the Hurricanes in the standings after Tuesday's win.
Carolina and Detroit are currently tied for the conference's eighth and final
The Canadiens are on the road for one game before beginning a four-game
homestand Saturday against Tampa Bay. Montreal is 13-11-2 as the visiting team
Price will get the start for Montreal tonight and is 17-8-3 with a 2.50 goals
against average in 29 career games against the Bruins. Rask expects to get the
call for Boston but he is only 2-9-2 with a 2.77 GAA in 14 lifetime
appearances against the Habs.
01/30 10:43:33 ET