Preview: Bruins (18-7-2) Canadiens (17-9-3)
Date: Thursday, December 5th 2013
Boston Bruins vs Montreal Canadiens Preview
This is the first of four meetings between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens are just one point behind their rival for the division lead.
Montreal has won three straight and is 7-0-1 in its past eight games and 9-1-2 since losing 4-1 to Ottawa on November 7th. The Habs have been tough on Boston lately with three straight wins in the series but all of those were one-goal or shootout victories. To make matters worse for Boston, this game is in Montreal.
With Budaj starting in Wednesday’s game, the Canadiens will likely turn to Carey Price for this one. Price has a 1.80 goals-against average during a string of five consecutive wins, but hasn’t performed as well against the Bruins lately.
He’s 1-4-1 with a 2.40 GAA in his last seven matchups but stopped 26 shots in the home win in April. Montreal hasn’t won five in a row at home since its season-high win streak Jan. 22-Feb. 3.
Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban has two goals and five assists during a five-game point streak against the Bruins, and Tomas Plekanec has a goal and five assists in his last four matchups.
Boston’s division lead is due in large part to a 10-2-1 record in its last 13 games, but the Bruins (18-7-2) had that lead cut to just one point with Montreal’s 4-3 shootout win in New Jersey on Wednesday.
Patrice Bergeron has been particularly troublesome for Montreal defenders lately with two goals and five assists in his past two meetings. Boston veteran forward Jarome Iginla is playing in this rivalry for the first time and has six goals and three assists in his last seven games versus the Canadiens.
Tuukka Rask has fared even worse in the rivalry, going 1-7-1 with a 3.23 GAA in his last nine matchups.
Boston Bruins – Tuukka Rask (confirmed)
Montreal Canadiens – Carey Price (confirmed)
Bruins center David Krejci has a goal and four assists in the past five games.
Canadiens captain Brian Gionta has a goal and four assists in his past four. Desharnais has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his past eight games.
Bruins defenseman Torey Krug (undisclosed) practiced Wednesday and is listed as day-to-day. He did accompany the team to Montreal. Adam McQuaid (lower body) is also day-to-day.
Montreal is expected to be without forward Rene Bourque (upper body) and defenseman Davis Drewiske (shoulder).
Boston Bruins vs Montreal Canadiens Prediction
I backed the Canadiens last night and barely got that win but I have this slight feeling that the Canadiens were looking past that game and were more focused on tonight’s match-up. I was never a big believer in looking past games but with how the Canadiens played last night it makes you wonder.
I originally had the Bruins circled for this game but looking further into it I am going to back the Canadiens. Rask is a good goalie but in my opinion he’s not good under rival match-ups. I’m sure after tonight we will see a few stick slammings from his side of the ice. But not only that the Canadiens are home and I pick Carey Price over some European goalie any day of the week.
This is a small NHL pick as our top NHL pick of the day is in the San Jose Sharks vs Pittsburgh Penguins match-up.
Montreal Canadiens +110 to win $110
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