After dispatching the Toronto Maple Leafs in a less-than-convincing win on Monday night and solving the mystery of the supposed earpiece-tossing into the crowd (turns out it wasn’t an earpiece after all, but rather a packet of smelling salts that was tossed by Tyler Seguin, situated outside the frame), the Boston Bruins are gearing up for their third of four meetings this season with the arch-rival Montreal Canadiens. It’s a rivalry that is as genuine as NHL rivalries get, so actually it’s the perfect matchup to show on NBC Sports Network’s Rivalry Wednesday.
Of course, that does mean we’re denied the commentary style of Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley once again.
The rivals have split their season series so far: Boston won 2-1 on Feb. 6 and Montreal took the 4-3 win on March 3. Seguin and David Krejci stuck quickly in the third period back in February to answer a PK Subban goal. The Habs also kicked off the scoring in March’s game, though Seguin scored to answer that goal. Patrice Bergeron and Dougie Hamilton tallied second-period goals too, but then the Habs staged a third-period comeback (sound familiar?) for the win.
The Bruins may have an advantage tonight: they got a night of apparently well-deserved rest (Zdeno Chara was so tired in postgame interviews on Monday that he temporarily forgot what day it was), while the Habs played the Pittsburgh Penguins and were shut out 1-0 last night. There’s also something to be said about the potential advantages of playing on home ice. At TD Garden, the last time the Bruins lost was March 3–yep, to the Canadiens. They’re playing all but seven of their remaining games at home, too.
Johnny Boychuk participated in the morning skate. He could be back in the lineup tonight, but no official confirmation either way has been given yet. In practice, the top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton were back together–here’s hoping that this could spark the top-liners to action again. However, Daniel Paille is still left-winging the second line with Bergeron and Seguin. Brad Marchand, whose once-prolific stick has cooled off in recent games, finds himself on the third line. Tuukka Rask, whose record against Montreal is somewhat unimpressive (1-6-0 in his last seven starts against the Habs), left practice first this morning. Anton Khudobin has never faced the Habs before.
Will the pot boil over again like it did, to an extent, in the photo above? Find out tonight at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network when, once again, the Northeast Division lead will go to the victor.