One of the greatest rivalries in the NHL—and sports in general—will be renewed on Wednesday night when the Montreal Canadiens welcome the Boston Bruins to the Bell Centre.
As two of the "Original Six" in the NHL, the Bruins and Canadiens are no strangers to one another. They have met in more regular and postseason games than any other duo in the history of the sport.
Another thing both of these teams have in common is the fact that they are off to great starts to this shortened season.
The Bruins (6-1-1) are coming off a 1-0 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, thanks to a rare goal by Chris Bourque in the first period that ended up standing thanks to brilliant goaltending by Tuukka Rask.
The Canadiens (6-2-0) are winners in their last two contests and have been scoring at will lately—beating the Buffalo Sabres and Ottawa Senators by a combined score of 8-2.
It's no coincidence that the Bruins and Canadiens are No. 1 and No. 2 in the Northeast division, respectively. This game could change that setup when all is said and done, as both are separated by just one point.
Let's take a look at everything you need to know for this game.
When: Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Canada
Watch: NBC Sports Network (Check local listings)
Live Stream: NHL GameCenter
Best Storyline: The Rivalry
Next to the rivalries between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, as well as the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, the Bruins-Canadiens rivalry is just as epic.
The bad blood between these two franchises has been well documented.
Perhaps the most entertaining chapter in recent memory came back in 2011 when both teams participated in a huge brawl that resulted in a goalie fight between then-Bruins net-minder, Tim Thomas, and Canadiens goalie, Carey Price.
Multiple players threw fists in a wild second period that saw eight goals scored in total.
It was evidence that there is some serious heat between these two teams and that anything can happen when both are on the ice. While nobody wishes something ugly like that to happen again, we certainly wouldn't mind it.
After all, this is hockey and fighting is a part of the sport.
Key Players to Watch
Tuukka Rask, Goalie
In his sixth season with the Bruins, Rask is the team's go-to guy between the pipes.
After an ugly performance that saw him give up six goals to the Sabres, Rask rebounded nicely against the Maple Leafs, stopping 21 shots en route to his first shutout of the season.
Rask is No. 10 among NHL goalies with a GAA of 2.1. His five wins are also good enough to put him in a tie for second in the league.
This matchup against the Canadiens will be a much tougher test for Rask as he goes up against one of the better offensive squads in the NHL. Montreal is ranked No. 5 in the league in goals scored per game and with Price in net, Rask must be nothing short of great to help his team pick up the W.
Tyler Seguin, Center
Seguin has gotten off to a slow start this season and his only goal was an empty-netter in a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 28.
The slow start, according to Seguin (per Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com), might be attributed to his playing overseas during the lockout:
"I still don't think I regret going over there, but sometimes I've been thinking the last few days maybe going there wasn't the greatest idea. But I wanted to play and I had fun times," Seguin said.
The former No. 2 overall pick has also contributed three assists during his disappointing campaign thus far, but there's no doubt that Seguin is more capable of better play and his team needs him to step it up.
Boston will have a tough time scoring goals on Price in this game, but Seguin can score on anyone when at his best.
Carey Price, Goalie
After his involvement in the brawl back in 2011, clearly Price is no stranger to this rivalry and he will be ready to handle the pressure associated with it.
Price is one of the very best goalies in the NHL today, as evidenced by his GAA of 1.70, which is good enough for No. 5 in the league among goalies.
The Canadiens goalie has yet to allow more than three goals in a game this season, and he's only allowed one goal in each of his last two games while stopping a combined total of 62 shots.
Between the pipes is no doubt the biggest advantage Montreal has in this contest and Price's incredible ability to stonewall his opponents helps give the Canadiens' defense a safeguard like no other.
P.K. Subban, Defenseman
One of the up-and-coming defenseman in the NHL today, Subban has already made a serious impact in his first two games this season. A contract dispute held up the start to Subban's season, but he has quickly reminded Montreal why he was well worth the wait and money.
In his first two games, Subban has notched an assist in each and further showed his aggressive nature on the offensive end by taking four shots on net against the Ottawa Senators in his last game.
On top of his passing, Subban has a blistering slap shot and his one-timers are a force to be reckoned with. On defense, Subban is a stellar player also and can certainly lay a big hit on anyone who threatens to score.
As one of the best players on this team, the Bruins must plan for Subban's skills on both sides of the ice and he will no doubt make scoring on Price even tougher than it already is.
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