Montreal Canadiens Game Day: Habs Shipping Out To Boston

Kamal PanesarCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2011

MONTREAL, CANADA - DECEMBER 16:  P.K. Subban #76 of the Montreal Canadiens body checks Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on December 16, 2010 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins are no strangers to playing against each other.

With a long storied rivalry spanning back to the beginning of the NHL, these two Original Six teams have a ton of historical storylines that always make a head-to-head matchup exciting.

In the last few years, they have continued to light sparks in the playoffs and the regular season and, as such, the rivalry burns as intensely as it ever has.

Tonight's match at the TD Garden in Boston, is a pivotal game for both teams with the Bruins holding a two point lead over the Canadiens for tops in the Northeast Division.

Boston though has one game in hand on the Canadiens, so they will stay in first place win or lose. That being said, a win by the Canadiens would pull them even in points with Boston, at 67, keeping pace with the Bs.

Both teams are coming off of losses that saw them snap three-game winning streaks. As such, they will both be hungry for victory tonight.

The Bruins, 2-0 losers to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, received devastating news that they will be without the services of top center, Marc Savard, for the balance of the season due to a concussion.

Montreal too has their share of debilitating injuries with Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges gone for the season, and Michael Cammalleri still sidelined with a shoulder separation.

With two teams that play very tight defensively, tonight's game is likely to be decided by special teams and goaltending with two of the top keepers in the league—Tim Thomas and Carey Price—facing off.

Montreal has the 12th ranked power play operating at 18.2 percent efficiency, while the Bruins have the 21st ranked power play, at 16.8 percent efficiency. On the penalty kill, Montreal's once top ranked unit has dropped marginally to the fifth spot overall killing 84.7 percent of their man disadvantage.

The Bs check in with the sixth overall penalty kill operating at 84.6 percent efficiency.

The Bruins ninth overall in goals scored at 161, dwarfs the Habs' 25th overall 139, a testament to the Bs much better 5-on-5 scoring ability. Both teams are stingy with their goals against, but the Bruins are top in the league with 119 goals against to the Habs' sixth overall 131.

Game time is at 7:00 pm with the puck dropping on what is sure to be a playoffs-like match.

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