Preview: Habs Try to Make It 3 in a Row vs. Bruins

Montreal Canadiens forwards Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec
Montreal Canadiens forwards Max Pacioretty and Tomas Plekanec – (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

Not only are the Montreal Canadiens riding a two-game winning streak, during which they’ve outscored the opposition 15-3. They’ll also be looking for their third straight win (third this season too) over the Boston Bruins when the Habs face their long-time rivals on Monday night.

In sharp contrast, the Bruins have lost three in a row (including one against the Colorado Avalanche by a score of 4-2). They are just two points up on the Tampa Bay Lightning for the final Atlantic Division playoff spot, with the Metropolitan dominating the wild-card picture.

The Bruins need this game more than Montreal, in other words. Habs fans can only hope Montreal shows the same killer instinct they did against those same Avs on Saturday. Max Pacioretty alone would have tied Colorado’s output against the Bruins all by himself.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins

Bell Centre – 7:30 p.m. EST

Broadcast channels – NHLN-US, RDS, NESN

2016-17 Season Series: First Matchup of the Season

October 22 – Canadiens 4 – Bruins 2

November 8 – Canadiens 3 – Bruins 2

Boston Bruins – 15-12-2 – 32 Points

Road Record: 8-5-2

Hot Players: Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak

Key Injuries: John-Michael Liles, Matt Beleskey, Frank Vatrano

Projected lines:


Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Backes

Tim Schaller – David Krejci – David Pastrnak

Danton Heinen – Ryan Spooner – Austin Czarnik

Dominic Moore – Riley Nash – Noel Acciari


Brandon Carlo – Zdeno Chara

Torey Krug – Adam McQuaid

Colin Miller – Kevan Miller

Starting Goaltender

Tuukka Rask


Montreal Canadiens – 19-6-3 – 41 Points

Home Record: 14-1-1

Hot Players: Max Pacioretty, Tomas Plekanec, Paul Byron, Zach Redmond

Key Injuries: Alex Galchenyuk, David Desharnais, Greg Pateryn

Projected lines:


Max Pacioretty – Tomas Plekanec – Alexander Radulov

Paul Byron – Torrey Mitchell – Brendan Gallagher

Artturi Lehkonen – Philip Danault – Andrew Shaw

Daniel Carr – Brian Flynn – Sven Andrighetto


Alexei Emelin – Shea Weber

Andrei Markov – Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu – Zach Redmond

Starting Goaltender

Carey Price

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap] While the Canadiens are looking for a third straight win, they have points in their last four, having played in an overtime loss to the St. Louis Blues and a shootout victory over the Los Angeles Kings before they returned to the friendly confines of the Bell Centre.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap] This is the third of four straight games at home for the Habs, where they have a league-leading 29 points (14-1-1).

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask
Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask – (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3) [/miptheme_dropcap] Should Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask get the start as projected, the Habs are in good shape. He is 5-15-3 against them in his career.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap] If the game comes down to special teams, the Canadiens should have an edge with a top-ten power-play unit (21.6 percent). The Bruins are clicking at just 13.9 percent, placing them among the league’s worst. Their penalty kill is the third-best in the league, though (87.2 percent). Montreal’s is average at 81.7 percent.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]5)[/miptheme_dropcap] Patrice Bergeron is the lone Quebec native on the Bruins, but has struggled so far this season. Usually good for around 60 points a season, he has been limited to just eight so far.

With the Habs nine points up on Boston (seven up on the second-place Ottawa Senators), this is a chance to dash any hopes the Bruins have of winning the division before even the start of 2017. The final game between the two teams is set for Sunday, February 12.