The Canadiens (13-4-4) are in Boston Sunday to take on the Bruins (14-2-2) with both teams playing in back-to-back games. The match is set to start at 7:30 and airs on RDS and TSN-Habs.
The Habs and Bruins are tied with 30 points apiece, the most in the Eastern conference, but the B’s have three games in hand over Montreal, which gives them the edge at this point in the season.
Sunday will be the second of four meetings between the teams, the Bruins earned a come from behind 2-1 victory over the Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Montreal went into the third with a 1-0 lead but gave up 2 goals in the opening 2:05 of play in the period.
What to Watch:
The Canadiens are coming off a spectacular 7-6 overtime loss Saturday night against the Penguins. Brian Gionta enjoyed a breakout game, he scored a pair of goals including the marker that sent the game into overtime. Max Pacioretty, Lars Eller, Brendan Gallagher, Tomas Kaberle and Alexi Emelin also had 2-point nights for the Habs.
One player left off the scoresheet Saturday was Tomas Plekanec, he’s now gone 6 games without a point. Last night Plekanec spent time playing with Michael Ryder and Alex Galchenyuk as coach Michel Therrien looked for a way to spark the Czech center.
Brad Marchand scored his team leading eleventh goal for the Bruins Saturday afternoon, it was the game winner in Boston’s 3-2 comeback win over the Lightning. One of Boston’s recipe for success is a balanced lineup, their top two centers, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, are tied for the team lead in points with 15 each.
What’s at Stake:
First place in the Eastern conference. The Habs and Bruins are both fighting for it and tonight’s winner will skate away with the conference lead. Boston holds three games in hand over the Habs so Montreal will have some extra motivation, even if the Bruins lose tonight they could still make up the difference in points with their extra games.
The Canadiens are without Rene Bourque (concussion) and Raphael Diaz (concussion). Petteri Nokelainen (back) has returned to practice but has not yet played a game for the Habs this season.
The Bruins are healthy heading into Sunday’s game.
Tomas Kaberle led the Canadiens in plus/minus Saturday night, finishing at +3. He also managed to collect a pair of assists in 12:36 of time on ice, the least of any defenseman on either team. Like new addition Michael Ryder, Kaberle was part of the 2011 Stanley Cup winning Bruins. Also like Ryder, Kaberle was not re-signed at the end of the season meaning both players might have a little something to prove in tonight’s game.
Be sure to tune into a special Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show starting at 6:00 Sunday and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Both shows are broadcasting live from Mckibbin’s Irish Pub in the West Island.