SNAPPING IT: The Bruins are 0-4-1 in their last five games against the Canadiens. This is the third of four games between these teams this season. The Bruins are 17-10-3 on the road this season and 16-8-1 against Atlantic Division teams. Montreal beat Boston 2-1 on Dec. 5 at Bell Centre. Then the Canadiens won 4-1 on Jan. 30 at TD Garden.
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE LATELY: The Bruins are in the midst of a five-game winning streak. Boston is 8-2-1 in its last 11 games and 13-2-3 in the last 18. After a 4-3 shootout win over Tampa on Saturday, and 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Sunday, the Bruins close out this three-game road trip against the Canadiens.
“We’ve got to go out there and play our game and let’s continue to do the things we’ve done lately,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “That’s where our focus has to be. Not on the team we’re playing, not on where we are, but what we have to do and that’s what we intend to do tonight. We played a great game in Tampa, a great game in Florida and now it’s about bringing this game here and doing the same things that have given us success. If we focus on those things our chances are good.”
Montreal is 6-3-1 in its last 10 games and has an 18-10-5 record on home ice. The Canadiens are 9-6-4 against divisional opponents.
“If we go out and play our game tonight, it’s going to be an interesting one,” Julien said.
MASKED MEN: Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask did not participate in the team’s optional morning skate Wednesday, but he’s expected to start against the Canadiens. He has a 2-10-2 career record against Montreal, with a 2.88 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage. Rask is leading the league with six shutouts, and is 7-3-2 in his last 12 starts. Since Montreal’s No. 1 goalie Carey Price remains sidelined with a lower-body injury, fellow netminder Peter Budaj will start against the Bruins. Budaj is 4-1-0 in his career against the Bruins, including one shutout, a 2.34 GAA and a .919 SP. He stopped a season-high 34 shots en route to a 4-1 win over the Bruins on Jan. 30. Overall, he’s 8-7-2 with a 2.42 GAA and a .909 SP in 20 games this season.
LINEUPS: The Bruins will be without forward Daniel Paille (concussion) and defenseman Dougie Hamilton (healthy scratch). Forward Jordan Caron will play on the Bruins’ energy line, along with Shawn Thornton and Gregory Campbell. Montreal added forward Thomas Vanek at the trade deadline and this will be his first game against the Bruins as a member of the Canadiens. He has 61 points in 53 career games against the Bruins. Montreal defenseman Josh Gorges is out with a broken left hand.