March 27th, 2013 by

Bruins and Habs battle for first place

Bruins and Habs battle for first place

As was the case the last time these two met—a 4-3 Canadiens win back on March 3—the Bruins and Canadiens will battle it out with first place in the Northeast Division on the line. The two historic rivals are currently tied for the lead in the Northeast Division with 45 points and sit seven points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the lead in the Eastern Conference.

The Bruins are coming off a 3-2 shootout win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night. Tuukka Rask made 23 saves for his 15th win of the season. The Bruins got regulation goals by Milan Lucic—first goal in 15 games—and Patrice Bergeron, followed by shootout goals by Tyler Seguin and Bergeron for the win, their fourth shootout win of the year.

Last night in Pittsburgh the Canadiens became the latest victim of the red-hot Penguins as Sidney Crosby scored the lone goal of the game and the combination of Marc-Andre Fluery—left after the second period with an injury—and Tomas Vokoun shut the Habs out 1-0, extending their win streak to 13 straight.

Johnny Boychuk took part in today’s morning skate but has yet been cleared to play, he will be reevaluated later this afternoon.

Gametime: 7:30 p.m. Location: TD Garden TV/Radio: NBC Sports Network/98.5 The Sports Hub Records: Bruins (21-7-3, 45 points), Canadiens (20-7-5, 45 points)

Bruins’ projected lines

Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton Daniel Paille-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin Brad Marchand-Rich Peverley-Jordan Caron Jay Pandolfo-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton Dennis Seidenberg-Matt Bartkowski Andrew Ference-Aaron Johnson

Tuukka Rask Anton Khudobin

Canadiens’ projected lines

Max Pacioretty – David Desharnais – Brendan Gallagher Michael Ryder – Tomas Plekanec – Brian Gionta Alex Galchenyuk – Lars Eller – Colby Armstrong Travis Moen – Jeff Halpern – Gabriel Dumont

Andrei Markov – Alexei Emelin Josh Gorges – P.K. Subban Jarred Tinordi – Francis Bouillon

Carey Price Peter Budaj

Bruins to watch

After going 14 games without a goal Milan Lucic finally found the back of the net on Monday against the Maple Leafs. Lucic has taken a lot of criticism of late due to his lack of scoring. The Bruins and Lucic hope that Monday’s goal is the one he needed to get him going. Bruins head coach Claude Julien was pleased with his power forwards game on Monday. Lucic knows he needs to bring that exact style of play against a pesky Canadiens team.

In Jordan Caron’s first game of the season with the Bruins—a 3-0 Saturday matinee win over the Philadelphia Flyers on March 9—the 22-year old Caron looked great as he helped spark a struggiling third line and made a great play to set up Chris Kelly with a big goal. After that solid game, Caron went on to go pointless in his next seven games before picking up an assist on Milan Lucic’s goal on Monday. With the third line struggling and trade rumors surrounding the Bruins, tonight couldn’t be a better time for Caron to find the back of the net for the first time this season.

Canadiens to watch

After failing to score in his first ten games to start the 2013 campaign, Max Pacioretty has done nothing but score since as the Connecticut native has nine goals in his previous 17 games. Pacioretty scored and added an assist in the Habs win over the Bruins on March 3. With the history between Pacioretty and the Bruins, combined with the rivalry that is Bruins and Canadiens, look for Pacioretty to be a key factor for the Habs tonight.

Carey Price will start in net for the Habs tonight. Price got the start in Pittsburgh last night allowing just one goal on 25 shots. Price has been exceptional for Montreal this season with a 16-6-4 record, 2.28 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage. Price has been a Bruins killer in his career as the 25 year-old net-minder has a 15-8-3 career record against the Bruins with a 2.52 goal-against average and a .918 save percentage.

Bruins linkage

The Hockey Writers’ Bob Mand takes a look at some potential Bruins trade targets.

Sarah Connors of Stanley Cup of Chowder previews tonight’s game.

Why the Bruins should trade for Jarome Iginla. (Kirk Luedeke/New England Hockey Journal)

Canadiens linkage

Pat Hickey from the Montreal Gazette talks about last night’s loss to the Penguins.

Montreal’s Eye on The Prize blog lists ten things they don’t hate about the Bruins.

Tweets of interest

Remember Kaspars Daugavins and his shootout attempt against the Bruins? Well yeah, he’s your newest Bruin.

Dustin Penner and his Stanley Cup winning teammates got to visit the White House yesterday. Penner decided to make a Tim Thomas joke.

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