The greatest rivalry in all of hockey renews Saturday night at TD Garden as the Bruins host the Montreal Canadiens for the first time this season. Thanks to the Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium, tonight’s contest will mark the only regular season matchup inside TD Garden this season between the two longtime rivals.
Montreal kicked the season off Wednesday night with a 3-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. On Thursday, the Bruins put forth a very lackluster effort against the Winnipeg Jets in the Bruins’ 2015-16 home opener. A 6-2 victory for the Jets.
The Habs have won six straight against the Bruins dating back to the 2014 Eastern Conference semifinals. The Canadiens have also won in their last six contests inside TD Garden.
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara skated again with the team this morning, but Claude Julien deemed Chara “doubtful” tonight.
Records: Boston 0-1 (0pts) Montreal 1-0 (2pts)
TV/Radio: NESN/ 98.5 The Sports Hub
Location: TD Garden
Bruins projected lines:
Matt Beleskey-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Loui Eriksson
Jimmy Hayes-Ryan Spooner-Brett Connolly
Chris Kelly-Jonas Kemppainen-Zic Rinaldo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Joe Morrow-Colin Miller
Matt Irwin-Kevan Miller
Canadiens projected lines:
Max Pacioretty-Tomas Plekanec-Brendan Gallagher
Lars Eller-Alex Galchenyuk-Alexander Semin
Tomas Fleischmann-David Desharnais-Dale Weise
Brian Flynn-Torrey Mitchell-Devante Smith-Pelly
Andrei Markov-P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin-Jeff Petry
Nathan Beaulieu-Tom Gilbert
Matchup to watch: Carey Price vs. Bruins offense
Loui Eriksson and the Bruins hope to create traffic in front of Carey Price in order to get some pucks past the Vezina winner. (Photo credit: Joe Makarski/Bruins Daily)
It’s no secret that Carey Price enjoys playing against the Boston Bruins. His lifetime numbers against the Bruins prove that. Walking into tonight’s contest with a lifetime record of 21-8-3, a 2.38 goals-against average and a .923 save percentage, Price certainly has gotten the best of the Bruins in his career.
The reigning Vezina winner looked good against the Leafs on Wednesday and will look to pick up where he left of when the puck drops in Boston tonight. Getting rubber past Price is no easy task, the Bruins will need to be much better than they were on Thursday if they have any hopes of handing Price and the Canadiens their first loss of the season.
Historically the Bruins have found success against Price when they’re able to get bodies to the net and are able to create traffic in front of Price. If the Bruins can do just that and create havoc for Price, they may be able to break the losing streak against Montreal.
Storyline to watch: Can the Bruins defense rebound?
Joe Morrow and the rest of the Bruins defense hopes to bounce back after a rough outing Thursday night against the Winnipeg Jets. (Photo credit: Joe Makarski/Bruins Daily)
Thursday’s loss to the Jets was about as ugly as it gets for the Bruins and their d-core. Turnovers and poor positioning led to the Jets route of the Bruins. Julien worked heavily on defense in practice yesterday in hopes that the Bruins defense puts forth a much better effort tonight.
Montreal’s speed and skill has given the Bruins fits in their recent matchups. The Black and Gold must find a way to contain the skillful Habs’ forwards—a task that is easier said than done
Last year’s leading scorer Max Pacioretty has returned earlier than expected from a leg injury and scored in Montreal’s win Wednesday night. Once again without Chara and Dennis Seidenberg in the lineup, the Bruins young, unexperienced defense will have their hands full.