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

The Habs try to snap an eight-game losing streak versus Boston.

Montreal Canadiens @ Boston Bruins

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PM PDT
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Bruins region: NESN
Streaming: ESPN+, RDS Direct, TSN+

Coming back to the bench after missing a few shifts on Tuesday night, it seemed that Josh Anderson had cheated his fate of becoming the latest Montreal Canadiens player with an injury. It turned out that was merely a delay of the inevitable as Anderson was later helped off the ice after crashing foot-first into the goal post while trying to score an empty-net goal.

Montreal was in that situation because they were holding a lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning in the dying minutes, and earned a win to prevent getting swept in the season series. Tonight in Boston, the Canadiens will be trying to snap a longer run of losses to the Bruins, a streak that goes back eight games. The last victory came on November 5, 2019 on what was a two-goal night for defenceman Victor Mete.

Tale of the Tape

43.1% (30th)Scoring-chances-for %53.0% (8th)
2.77 (28th)Goals per game3.76 (2nd)
3.69 (27th)Goals against per game2.11 (1st)
16.5% (29th)PP%22.5% (12th)
72.1% (31st)PK%86.0% (1st)
0-1-0H2H Record1-0-0

The Habs had a chance to break the streak back on January 24, and were in good position to make that happen thanks to another two-goal game, that time from Kirby Dach. Dach played a season-high 23:59 that night and was a major factor in keeping the game close. Looking for a repeat of that performance, Martin St-Louis has his player back in a centre role after slotting Dach in on the wing for Tuesday’s match.

Just keeping a game with Boston close has been hard to achieve this season. The Bruins have just 11 regulation losses, and hold a 13-point lead in the President’s Trophy race. It’s possible that they’ll clinch the top spot in the league with a couple of weeks remaining in the regular season, ensuring home-ice advantage for what should be a long playoff run as the Stanley Cup favourites.

They seem to be intent on rendering the final few games on their schedule moot, because they welcome Montreal to TD Garden riding a four-game winning streak — which would be more impressive if they hadn’t done that on six other occasions this season. What is impressive is that they’ve played some desperate teams clinging to their post-season hopes in that span — the Winnipeg Jets, Buffalo Sabres, and Ottawa Senators — and surrendered a total of three goals.

The matchup may bring out the best in the other forward who returned to play on Tuesday, Brendan Gallagher. He thoroughly enjoyed going up against Zdeno Chara and Brad Marchand in the first half of his NHL career, but all of those physical battles have taken their toll. Set to play what will be just his 27th game of the season, Gallagher has nine points, all coming against teams not currently in playoff spots. Barring a strong end to his season, he’s going to post a career-low goal total, with the current mark being the seven he produced last year.

We will see at least one more addition for tonight’s game. Jake Evans is ready to go after recovering from a knee injury (hopefully he has fully recovered anyway) and will further bolster the depth down the middle to help Montreal’s effort versus a juggernaut. Evans hasn’t fared much better than Gallagher, with just 11 points to his name this year, but four of those came in the final five games played before the injury occurred as he turned his game around when the calendar flipped to 2023.

Even if Montreal had every player come off Injured Reserve for this game (including Carey Price), they wouldn’t be favoured to come away with a win. It’s going to take another defensive effort like the 60-minute one they had in the first meeting of this season, all while maintaining the high level of offence they’ve been enjoying for several weeks.

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