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Canadiens vs. Bruins: Game preview, start time, Tale of the Tape, and how to watch

After a string of losses, perhaps a meeting with an old rival can provide the spark Montreal needs.

Montreal Canadiens v Boston Bruins Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens @ Boston Bruins

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In Canada: Sportsnet (English), TVA Sports (French)
In the Bruins region: NESN
Elsewhere: NHL Live

The defence looked a bit more composed in yesterday’s game than it had in some of Carey Price’s recent starts. Brett Kulak was perhaps the best player on the ice in his team and season debut, helping to stabilize a unit that has been a bit scrambly in recent weeks.

Antti Niemi still faced 40 shots on the night (some of them his own doing through rebound chances), yet played well enough to get his team to overtime. He couldn’t do much on an extra-frame power play, however, and his team left the arena with a loss for the third consecutive time, capping off a short, winless road trip.

The Canadiens are now back home in Montreal for a five-game stretch, but won’t get much of a welcome from the Boston Bruins. The team sits a point up on Montreal in the standings, with the standard game in hand they seem to carry throughout a season, and have been hanging on despite some key injuries.

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistic Bruins
Canadiens Statistic Bruins
11-7-5 Record 12-6-4
1-0-0 H2H Record 0-1-0
52.2% (6th) Corsi-for pct. 51.1% (11th)
72 (12th) Goals for 62 (25th)
78 (29th) Goals against 53 (1st)
14.6% (28th) PP% 29.4% (3rd)
78.7% (18th) PK% 78.3% (20th)

The biggest of those is a chest injury to Patrice Bergeron that has kept him out of the lineup for the past week and is projected to sideline him for three more. That removes the Bruins’ best player from the lineup, and indeed one of the top talents in the entire NHL.

Injuries on defence may be more significant just on their sheer volume. The steady Zdeno Chara and Brandon Carlo are out with upper-body injuries. Star young blue-liner Charlie McAvoy and EOTP’s 2017 mock draft selection Urho Vaakanainen are both sidelined with concussions.

Despite the turmoil among the defence corps, the Bruins are finding ways to earn points, only failing to claim one once in their last seven games. They’ve also given up just a single goal on five of those seven ocassions.

They can thank former Habs netminder Jaroslav Halak for that last stat. Once an outcast of the New York Islanders, he’s taken over the starting role for the Bruins, and sits second in the NHL in save percentage, at .939. After winning yesterday’s game versus the Pittsburgh Penguins, he may not be available for tonight’s match versus his old club. especially when considering a big meeting with the Toronto Maple Leafs in two days’ time. So that likely means Tuukka Rask, who has a save percentage of just .909, gets the call this evening.

He’ll go up against Carey Price, whose last action was a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the New Jersey Devil on Wednesday. He would be happy to see a repeat performance from Kulak & co. in their second game in two days as Montreal aims to get back in the win column.

If you’d like a glimpse into the future of the Canadiens’ blue line, you can see Josh Brook and the Moose Jaw Warriors taking on the Lethbridge Hurricanes at 3:30 PM EST on Sportsnet today.