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  • Bruins and Habs battle for first one more time


    Bruins and Habs battle for first one more time

    Tim Rosenthal April 6, 2013

    In each of the first three meetings, the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens battled for first place in the Northeast Division. Well, things aren’t changing for the fourth and final matchup of the 2013 National Hockey League regular season as the two teams once again battle for tops in the Northeast for the last time.

    The Bruins (52 points) come in winners of three straight, including Thursday’s 1-0 win over the New Jersey Devils. Jaromir Jagr scored the only goal in his Boston debut, while Tuukka Rask made 40 saves en route to his third shutout of the season.

    The Habs (53 points) are fresh off a 4-1 victory over the Winnipeg Jets and are 6-3-1 in their last 10. Carey Price will likely get the start, although one has to wonder if Peter Budaj will make an appearance too. The veteran backup led the Canadiens to their two victories over the Black and Gold, including last week’s 6-5 shootout win where he relieved Price during the third period.

    In the first meeting at the Bell Centre, the Bruins took a 2-1 victory behind third period goals by David Krejci and Tyler Seguin after coach Claude Julien shuffled the lines for the last 20 minutes. Will the B’s bench boss use a similar tactic if they fall behind in this pivotal showdown? We’ll find out tonight and perhaps you’ll find out with us during the Bruins-Habs viewing party at The Harp with fellow bloggers Days Of Y’Orr and Boston Sports Then & Now.

    Gametime: 7 p.m.
    Location: Bell Centre
    TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub
    Records: Bruins (24-8-4, 52 points), Habs (24-8-5, 53 points)

    Bruins’ projected lineup

    Both lineups subject to change

    Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
    Jaromir Jagr-Tyler Seguin-Brad Marchand
    Jay Pandolfo-Rich Peverley-Kaspars Daugavins
    Daniel-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton

    Zdeno Chara-Dougie Hamilton
    Dennis Seidenberg-Andrew Ference
    Matt Bartkowski-Johnny Boychuk

    Tuukka Rask
    Anton Khudobin

    Habs’ projected lineup

    Michael Ryder-Tomas Plekanec-Brian Gionta
    Alex Galchenyuk-Lars Eller-Brandon Prust
    David Desharnais-Brendan Gallagher-Max Pacioretty
    Travis Moen-Jeff Halpren-Ryan White

    Andrei Markov-Alexi Emelin
    Josh Gorges-P.K. Subban
    Francis Bouillon-Davis Drewskie

    Carey Price
    Peter Budaj

    Bruins to watch

    After scoring in his Black and Gold debut, let’s keep an eye again on Jagr, shall we? Even at the age of 41, there’s a first time for everything and tonight Jagr (15 goals, 12 assists) will get his first taste of the Bruins-Habs rivalry.

    While many fans in The Hub of Hockey are pretty excited for another chapter tonight, Jagr isn’t going to let the emotions get the best of him.

    “I don’t like to be too high or too low. I don’t think it’s going to help my game,” he said after Friday’s practice in Wilmington. “I just want to control myself out there and control my game.

    “But you can’t do that for everybody,” Jagr added with a chuckle. “Some guys like it and some guys don’t like it.”

    While Jagr is donning the spoked B for the first time in this storied rivalry, Rask will get another chance against the Habs and his career numbers in 12 career matchups (11 starts) aren’t very good to say the least. The Finnish netminder is just 2-7-2 versus Montreal with a .898 save percentage and a 2.92 goals against average. But in the only meeting at the Bell Centre, Tuukka made 20 stops to guide the B’s to their only win against the Canadiens this year. A similar result might indeed put the Bruins, who have a game in hand on the Habs, back in first place by the end of the night.

    Habs to watch

    Michael Ryder has gotten the best of his former squad – in his second stint with Les Habitants – in the last two meetings. The ex-Bruin has two goals and an assist against his former team and he’s really given the Canadiens’ offense a real shot in the arm since being acquired by the Dallas Stars via trade back on Feb. 26. In 17 games with the Habs, Ryder is averaging a point per game (nine goals, eight assists) and he’ll look to continue that streak tonight.

    Bruins linkage

    The Carl Soderberg watch is heating up as his Swedish Elite League team was eliminated from their postseason today (Sarah Connors/Stanley Cup of Chowder).

    After being acquired by the Bruins at the trade deadline, Wade Redden “expects to fit right in” after practicing for the first time with his new team yesterday (Joe McDonald/ESPN Boston).

    Habs linkage

    Sam Pollock of SB Nation’s Eyes On The Prize writes about the Habs fleecing the Bruins from a historical perspective.

    While Brad Marchand’s name has been floated around, Pat Hickey of The Montreal Gazette says Price and P.K. Subban should be on Team Canada’s roster during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

    Tweets of interest

    Kirk Luedeke, NHL Prospects guru and a good friend of Bruins Daily, has a pic of Jaromir Jagr from the The Hockey News’ 1990 Draft Preview.

    And another reminder to join us at The Harp tonight!

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    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


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