By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
For the second time this season, the Bruins are playing in the second game of a back-to-back. Last week, the Bruins won back-to-back games against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday and the New York Rangers on Sunday. Last night, Boston took home a 6-4 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins after losing a 3-0 at one point in the game. Boston’s win improved their record to 11-1-2 and secures their spot for second in the overall league standings, only one point behind the Washington Capitals.
The Montreal Canadiens have not won in November so far, losing 4-1 to the Dallas Stars on Saturday. On the season, the Canadiens have a 7-5-2 record after their opening fourteen games and have put up a 6-4-0 record in their last ten games. Montreal is fifth in the Atlantic Division and is only one point of the second Wild Card position currently held by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
BOS: Tuukka Rask 7-0-1 1.49 GAA .949% Last Game: 30 Saves in 5-2 win vs OTT
MTL: Carey Price (Not Confirmed) 6-4-1 2.64 GAA .915 SV% Last Game: 36 Saves in 4-1 loss to DAL
Brad Marchand made history in many ways in Monday’s win over the Penguins, scoring five points for the second time in four games, bringing his season totals to 10-18-28 on his 13-game point streak. Marchand and Pastrnak are now the first pair of winger teammates in NHL history to average 2+ points-per-game in the first 14 games of a season, further cementing how good of a duo they have become. Marchand now leads the NHL in assists with eighteen and is second in points behind Pastrnak.
Jonathan Drouin was acquired by the Canadiens from the Tampa Bay Lightning in June 2017 and in the two seasons he has played in Montreal, he has seen improvements in his scoring numbers. This season, so far, the 24-year-old is tied for the team-lead in points with 7-5-12 numbers in 14 games. Drouin has four points in his last four games, but was held pointless in his last game against the Stars in Dallas.
Tuukka Rask has been absolutely lights out in the 2019-2020 season for Boston and he is silencing the previous stigma that he is a slow-starting goaltender going through eight starts without a regulation loss. Tuukka has the best save percentage in the National Hockey League (minimum of five games played) with a .949 save percentage. Rask is also number one in the league with a 1.49 goals-against-average. The 32-year-old is on another level right now and he will look to continue it against the Canadiens.
Paul Byron has been one of those depth players for Montreal that teams are worried of. The 30-year-old forward scored 31 points in 56 games for the Canadiens last year but in ’19/’20, he only has three assists in fourteen games playing around twelve minutes a game. Montreal is in need of some extra depth scoring and Byron could add some additional scoring if he manages to get the monkey off his back.
Sean Kuraly is not known for being a high goal-scorer in the NHL, but with zero goals in 14 games, the Bruins need him to score more in these highly competitive games. Kuraly put up a career-high eight goals last season, but he has the potential to put up more even though he plays on the fourth line. Kuraly will likely score soon, but until then, he has not been great for Boston.
- D Zdeno Chara is playing in his 1,500th NHL regular-season game. He becomes the 21st player and the 6th defenceman in league history to do so.
- D Torey Krug is one point away (299) from 300 career NHL points
- F Patrice Bergeron is one even-strength goal away (214) from passing Cam Neely (214) for sole possession of 6th-most even-strength goals in Bruins history
- F Tomas Tatar is three points away (297) from 300 career NHL points
- G Carey Price is one shutout away (45) from tying Ken Dryden (46) for 3rd-most shutouts in Canadiens history
Bruins vs Canadiens Outlook:
Last season, the Bruins won the four-game season series against the Canadiens with a 2-1-1 record. The Bruins took home a 3-2 win on November 24th and a 4-0 win on December 17th. The Bruins lost a 3-2 overtime game on January 14th and a 3-0 loss on October 27th. Boston averaged 2.25 goals-for-per-game against Montreal, allowing an average of two goals against in that same time span.
Tonight’s game goes down in the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada – an arena where the Bruins have played a combined 61 games at. Throughout the history there, Boston has an overall record of 27-29-2-3 when playing their Original Six rivals, scoring on average 2.59 goals-for-per-game and allowing on average 2.79 goals-against-per-game.
This season, the Bruins are ahead of the Canadiens in the standings and so far, the Bruins are looking like one of the top teams in the entire NHL and their overall league position of second is further proof of that. Boston has the best power-play percentage over the other 31 teams at 30.6%. The B’s also have the ninth-best penalty-kill, rocking at 86.0%.
Montreal, on the other hand, is 15th in the league on the power-play, scoring on 20.8% of their opportunities while having a 69.8% penalty-kill percentage (28th in NHL).