Boston at Montreal
When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, December 12, 2016
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
MONTREAL – (Wire Service Preview) – The Montreal Canadiens have not missed a beat without two of their top offensive players and hope to continue their offensive surge when the rival Boston Bruins pay a visit Monday night. Captain Max Pacioretty led the way with four goals in Saturday’s 10-1 destruction of Colorado and the Canadiens scored 15 times in the last two games without injured forwards Alex Galchenyuk and David Desharnais.
Galchenyuk (23 points) and Desharnais (nine) are out indefinitely with knee injuries, but Montreal still scored the most goals at home since the Bell Centre opened in 1996. “We have guys that have stepped up,” Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry told reporters. “That’s what good teams have when injuries come along. … It’s not just one guy. It has to be everybody.” The Bruins come in off consecutive home regulation losses to Colorado and Toronto, and managed only 15 goals in the last seven games despite finding a way to pocket eight points (3-2-2) in that span. Tuukka Rask has been a big reason for that success, but Boston’s goalie is only 5-15-3 in his career against Montreal.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, NHL Network, Sportsnet, NESN (Boston), RDS (Montreal)
ABOUT THE BRUINS (15-12-2): Brad Marchand scored the only goal Saturday to extend his point streak to five games and edge ahead of David Pastrnak for the team lead with 25 points. Pastrnak (24 points) had five goals in three games before being blanked by Toronto, but is among the league leaders with 18 overall. The Bruins will need more from veteran center Patrice Bergeron, who has three of his eight points in the last eight games and owns four goals in 26 contests after recording a career-high 32 tallies last season.
ABOUT THE CANADIENS (19-6-3): Pacioretty, who reportedly played with a broken foot in November that is now healed, recorded seven goals and two assists in his last four games and leads the team with 24 points. Alexander Radulov is tied with Galchenyuk for second with 23 points and defenseman Andrei Markov (20) gives Montreal four with at least 20. Defenseman Shea Weber, who entered Sunday second in the league with a plus-18 rating, was held off the scoresheet in the last six games after putting up 18 points in the first 22.
1. The Canadiens won 10 of the last 12 regular-season meetings, including a 3-2 victory Nov. 8.
2. Boston F David Backes had an assist Saturday, but owns a minus-6 rating over the last three contests.
3. Montreal C Tomas Plekanec boasts six points in the last three games, including four assists Saturday, after recording seven points in the first 25 games.