Game #65: Boston Bruins (42-17-5) vs. Montreal Canadiens (35-24-7)
Location: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
Time: 7:30 p.m.
TV/Radio: NBCSN/98.5 The Sports Hub
The Boston Bruins will conclude their curent three-game road trip Wednesday night in Montreal. They’ll battle the rival Canadiens for the third time this season at the Bell Centre. The Bruins five-game winning streak will be on the line against a Canadiens club that has dominated them of late.
Boston dropped both of the previous two meetings with the Canadiens this year. They’ve also lost five straight to them dating back to last season. Such a trend must be snapped if the Bruins hope to make it six victories in a row.
The good news for the Bruins is that Montreal goaltender Carey Price will not be in the lineup. Either Peter Budaj or Dustin Tokarski will be in net. Both goaltenders have struggled since returning from the Sochi layoff. Montreal has lost three of their last four games.
Though with any good news, always comes the bad news. Thomas Vanek, acquired by Montreal at the trade deadline, is set to make his debut in this heated rivalry. Vanek has been a Bruins killer throughout the course of his career. In 53 games against the black-and-gold, Vanek has scored 30 goals in addition to tallying 31 assists.
The Bruins recent success has been in large part due to even contribution throughout the lineup. All four of Boston’s lines have been showing up on the scoresheet of late.
Jarome Iginla has five points in his last five games, while Patrice Bergeron is fresh off a three point showing against Florida on Sunday. Andrej Meszaros scored his first goal as a member of the Bruins against Florida as well.
Tuukka Rask is expected in net. He does have a career record of 2-10-2 against Montreal. There is no better time than now for Rask to put such a dismal statistic in the rearview.
Montreal’s recent woes are a result of not only goaltending inconstancies, but a powerless power play unit. They’ve scored just 17 power play goals in their last 120 attempts. They’ll need to utilize the man advantage if the red hot Bruins are to be slowed down.