Pregame Preview: Canadiens at Bruins (Game #54)

Habs Vs BruinsMatch Up:

The Canadiens (28-20-5) are headed to Boston to take on the rival Bruins (34-15-3) Thursday night. The game is set to start at 7:00 and airs on RDS and TSN-Habs.

This is the second of four games between the Habs and Bruins this season. The Canadiens already earned a 2-1 victory over the Bruins on home ice at the start of December. Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty each scored in the second period to put the Habs ahead and Carey Price shut the door with 32 saves on the night, including 16 in the third period.

What to Watch:

Brendan Gallagher, Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais combined for 2 goals and 5 points against Carolina on Tuesday in Montreal’s 3-0. Each of the three finished the night at +2, while Gallagher led the Canadiens with 5 shots. Carey Price was the games first star, earning his third shutout of the season.

The Bruins are coming off a 6-2 win over the Panthers on Tuesday, David Krejci led the way with a goal, 2 assists and a +5 rating in the game. Krejci now has 7 points in his last 4 games bringing him up to 45 points on the year to lead the Bruins. After scoring 9 points in 37 games with the Stars last season, Reilly Smith already has 40 this year with the Bruins. The 22-year old is in the midst of a 7-game point streak, with 3 goals and 5 assists over that span.

What’s at Stake:

The Habs should have plenty of motivation heading into Thursday game against the Bruins. Aside from the fact they’re facing off against one of their oldest rivals, Boston is also atop the division and a win would be a big confidence boost after a rough stretch. The Canadiens will be looking to win back-to-back games for the first time in January.

Who’s Out:

The Habs are still missing Alex Galchenyuk (hand), Ryan White (upper body) and Davis Drewiske (shoulder).

The Bruins are without Dennis Seidenberg (knee) and Adam McQuaid (leg).

What Else:

When the Habs beat the Bruins in December, the victory vaulted them into first place in the Atlantic division. Now, less than two months later, the Bruins have a 10 point lead over the Canadiens. The Habs have dropped to fourth in the division with the Lightning and the Leafs both sitting between them and the division leading Bruins. Montreal has gone 10-11-2 in the 23 games they’ve played since beating the Bruins, while Boston has 16-7-1 over 24 games in that same span.

The Question Mark:

Unless they’re re-signed beforehand, Brian Gionta, Andrei Markov, George Parros, Raphael Diaz, Francis Bouillon and Douglas Murray are all slated to become unrestricted free agents this summer. Who among those should Marc Bergevin be trying to move before the trade deadline and who should he be focused on resigning?

Let us know what you think, leave a comment or send us a tweet by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.

Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.

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About Rob Elbaz

Rob Elbaz has written 173 post in this blog.

Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show Panelist and all around good guy.

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