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Preview: It’s rivalry night as Claude & Co. come to town to face the Bruins

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Nothing like a Montreal game to get the blood pumping!

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7:30 PM

Where: TD Garden - Boston, MA

How to follow: NBCSN, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Eyes on the Prize

Know your enemy

  • Team: Tomaa
  • Goals: Tomas Tatar, 20
  • Assists: Tatar, 32
  • Points: Hey, it’s Tatar, 52
  • Goalie: Carey Price, 24-19-4, 2.70 GAA, .913 save percentage

Game notes

  • The Canadiens sit outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture, leading our friends at EOTP to wonder when is the time for them to start selling. The Bruins can’t exactly end the Habs’ hopes tonight, but they can certainly put another reality dent into any postseason aspirations with a regulation win tonight. As of Monday, they’re 8 points out of the second wild card spot with 2 teams ahead of them.
  • Speaking of dealing, Marc Bergevin, who has made some bad deals, probably already made one of the deadline’s most shrewd moves by signing Ilya Kovalchuk. The Russian has 6 goals and 6 assists in 16 games with Montreal, and will likely be flipped by Bergevin at the deadline. The price may not be super high, but turning a free signee into an asset is never a bad thing. It’ll be a tough sell for the GM who trades for him though. “I didn’t want him when he was free, but I’ll pay for him now!”
  • Both teams are coming off of frustrating losses, as the Bruins fell to the lowly Red Wings (again) and the Canadiens lost to the Arizona Coyotes.
  • Shea Weber won’t play for the Canadiens tonight. It remains to be seen how long he’ll be out for, but his absence makes the Habs’ playoff push that much more of a pipe dream.
  • Brendan Gallagher is back in the mix for Montreal after missing a spell with a concussion. He is definitely the new “villain” in this Bruins-Canadiens rivalry, which is nice, because things had lost a bit of their spark in recent years.
  • For the Bruins, Connor Clifton is getting close but won’t play tonight. Per the team, Joakim Nordstrom will return.
  • The next 3 games will be pretty important for the Bruins. They play Montreal at home tonight, Detroit at home Saturday, and the New York Rangers in Manhattan on Sunday. After that, the team heads out on that always-tough Western Canada swing. Picking up 5 or 6 points in these next 3 would take some pressure off heading into Canada.
  • Since losing their first game of the year against Montreal by a score of 5-4, the Bruins have won their last 2 against the Habs by a combined score of 11-2. Barring a miraculous run to the playoffs by Montreal, this will be the last match-up of the 2019-2020 season.

See ya tonight!