Preview: Canadiens at Bruins
The Boston Bruins have earned points in 10 straight games (7-0-3) - the league's longest active stretch - and are the only team that has yet to lose in regulation at home. Those are just two of the streaks on the line for the red-hot Bruins, who also will vie for their seventh consecutive win when they host the reeling Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night.
Four of the victories during the current winning streak have come by one goal, but there was one notable exception: Boston annihilated the Canadiens 8-1 in Montreal on Tuesday night behind a hat trick from David Pastrnak. "I think lately, we’ve found ways to win because we’ve got good players," coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters after Friday's 3-2 overtime win over the New York Rangers. "We’re a good team, but we’re ... trying to get to that 60-minute game like everyone else in the National Hockey League." The Canadiens are focused on a streak of their own - namely ending a slide that reached seven games (0-4-3) with a 4-3 overtime setback to Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon. Aside from capping a winless five-game homestand, Montreal established a dubious franchise record with 24 goals allowed in the last four at home, eclipsing the previous mark of 23 that was set in March 1935.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, Sportsnet, RDS (Montreal), NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE CANADIENS (11-9-6): Montreal wasted a pair of goals by Tomas Tatar, who boosted his team-high point total to 24 points and has scored once and collected a pair of assists in two meetings versus Boston this season. Defenseman Victor Mete assisted on the opening goal by Joel Armia but had to exit the game in the second period due to a lower-body injury and will not accompany the team to Boston. Carey Price, yanked in the second period of Tuesday's loss versus the Bruins, has yielded 23 goals during a five-game skid (0-4-1).
ABOUT THE BRUINS (18-3-5): Pastrnak, who has scored four times in two meetings versus Montreal this season, netted his NHL-leading 24th goal before setting up David Krejci's game-winner in OT Friday. Pastrnak etched his name among some elite company with his latest tally, joining Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy and Mario Lemieux as the only players with at least 12 goals in each of the first two months of a season. Brad Marchand, third in the league with 43 points, missed Saturday's practice (flu-like symptoms) and is questionable for Sunday.
1. Boston is the third team in history with two point streaks of at least 10 games in the first 30 contests of a season.
2. Armia has scored in back-to-back games and poured a game-high nine shots on goal Saturday.
3. Bruins G Tuukka Rask, who has won five straight, allowed a season-high five goals in a loss at Montreal on Nov. 5.
PREDICTION: Bruins 4, Canadiens 2