Preview: Bruins at Canadiens
Forwards Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak look to continue their red-hot start to the season as the Boston Bruins go after a seventh straight victory Tuesday night when they visit the rival Montreal Canadiens. Marchand had two goals and three assists as Boston knocked off Pittsburgh 6-4 on Monday and owns at least a point in 13 straight games while Pastrnak recorded one of each and leads the team with 29 points, including at least one in 12 straight outings.
The Bruins have 24 points - behind only Washington (25) in the league - and have earned at least a point in 10 consecutive contests (8-0-2) since their only regulation loss this season at Colorado on Oct. 10. Boston hopes to have some energy left for the speedy Canadiens, who are off to a solid start despite failing to sweep their three-game road trip Saturday after suffering a 4-1 setback at Dallas. Montreal completed an impressive back-to-back by knocking off Arizona (4-1) and Vegas (5-4 in overtime) to open the trek, but coach Claude Julien told reporters his team did not have its legs for the matchup against the Stars when it gave up 40 shots. “It was a great trip, taking four out of six points and winning back-to-back and going into a tough building in Vegas, and that bodes well for us in the future,” Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot told the Montreal Gazette. “We’ll take that and move forward.”
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network; TSN2, RDS (Montreal)
ABOUT THE BRUINS (11-1-2): Pastrnak was blanked in the first two games of the season, but has registered 14 goals and 15 assists since, while Marchand owns at least one assist in the past 12 contests and boasts an eye-popping plus-15 rating. Center Patrice Bergeron, a linemate of Pastrnak and Marchand, added an empty-net goal for his 15th point in 14 games Monday and defenseman Torey Krug also scored to pull within one point of 300 for his career. Tuukka Rask (7-0-1, .949 save percentage), who was rested Monday, will likely be in net versus Montreal and he is 11-16-4 with a 2.40 goals-against average in his career versus the Canadiens.
ABOUT THE CANADIENS (7-5-2): Montreal recalled former 2017 first-round pick Ryan Poehling, who had a hat trick in his only NHL game last season, and placed 2018 first-round selection Jesperi Kotkaniemi (groin) on the injured list Sunday. One of the key elements for a strong start to the season has been balanced scoring with forwards Brendan Gallagher and Jonathan Drouin leading the way at seven goals and 12 points, one better than Tomas Tatar and Max Domi. Carey Price had won four of his previous five games with a .935 save percentage before giving up three goals on 39 shots Saturday, and is expected to be in net Tuesday.
1. Boston C David Krejci has a goal and three assists with a plus-5 rating in three games since returning from an upper-body injury.
2. Montreal rookie F Nick Suzuki boasts three points and a plus-3 rating in his last four contests and is plus-5 on the season.
3. The road team won all four matchups last season with the Bruins outscoring Montreal 9-8 overall.
PREDICTION: Canadiens 3, Bruins 2