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  • Game Day Preview: Bruins at Canadiens


    Game Day Preview: Bruins at Canadiens

    Tim Rosenthal December 12, 2016

    In desperate need of offense, head coach Claude Julien is switching things up.

    The Bruins head into tonight’s matchup with the Atlantic Division leading Montreal Canadiens having scored three goals in their last two games against two of the worst defenses in the league in the Colorado Avalanche and Toronto Maple Leafs. They sit tied for 23rd in the league in goals scored with 67 averaging a mere 2.31 goals per game. Their power play is fifth worst in the league converting on just 13.9 percent of their chances.

    Those are far from ideal stats going into the Bell Centre against Carey Price, who sits tied for first in the league with 16 wins.

    With a tough three-game-in-four-day stretch beginning tonight, the Bruins have to find ways to get second and third chances against Price. Settling for one and done’s against a team that steamrolled the Avalanche 10-1 Saturday night – two nights after the Bruins fell to Colorado 4-2 – will not get it done in front of a hostile Bell Centre.

    The Habs have won both meetings this year. Despite being outplayed, Price and company came away with a 3-2 win at the last minute in the last matchup between the two squads. A Canadiens win tonight would mark the fifth straight year of at least three regular season victories against the Bruins.

    Gametime: 7:30 p.m.
    TV/Radio: NESN/100.7 WZLX
    Records: Bruins 15-12-2 (32 points), Canadiens 19-6-3 (41 points)
    Location: Bell Centre

    Bruins projected lines

    Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Backes
    Tim Schaller-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
    Danton Heinen-Ryan Spooner-Jimmy Hayes
    Dominic Moore-Riley Nash-Noel Acciari

    Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
    Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
    Kevan Miller-Colin Miller

    Tuukka Rask
    Anton Khudobin

    Canadiens projected lines

    Max Pacioretty-Tomas Plekanec-Alexander Radulov
    Artturi Lehkonen-Phillip Danault-Andrew Shaw
    Paul Byron-Torey Mitchell-Brendan Gallagher
    Daniel Carr-Brian Flynn-Sven Andrighetto

    Alexei Emelin-Shea Weber
    Andrei Markov-Jeff Petry
    Nathan Beaulieu-Zach Redmond

    Carey Price
    Al Montoya

    Tonight’s storylines

    – Barring any last minute circumstance, Tuukka Rask should get his first start of the season against the Canadiens. Though his team hasn’t helped out by any means, Rask enters Monday’s game having allowed 11 goals in his last three starts. Against a team that he’s struggled against throughout his career (5-15-3, 2.69 goals against average and .910 save percentage in his career vs. the Habs), the Bruins – with or without an improvement on offense – are going to need Rask to bounce back and be at his best if they want to steal two points in Montreal.

    – The Bruins enter Monday’s game averaging 33.2 shots on goal per game, good for second in the league only behind the Penguins (34.6). What they have in shots, however, lacks in terms of quality chances. Whether they’re settling for shots from the perimeter or missing the net entirely, the Bruins aren’t doing enough to get traffic in front of the net and get pucks in deep. With David Backes moving up to the first line and David Pastrnak reuniting with David Krejci on the second line, the Bruins hope to find a rhythm from the top six that trickles down to the rest of the lineup.

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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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