Is the Bell Centre the place long winning streaks come to die?
The Montreal Canadiens could certainly argue that's the case, having comfortably seen off the New York Rangers, then riding a seven-game win streak, 4-0 on Saturday. Tonight's opposition has gone one better than the Rangers, the Boston Bruins have won eight straight.
Their current winning string actually began after their last visit to their old enemy in Montreal on Oct. 29 - their last loss.
“That's when we started getting a little bit better, it was stepping stone maybe to getting better,” said Boston defenceman Andrew Ference, who suggested the Bruins hadn't exactly been feeling sorry for themselves in their 3-7 jag to open the season. “We weren't a rudderless ship floating around, we knew what we had to do.”
And the defending Stanley Cup champions have implemented their recipe - fast, direct, physical, intimidating hockey - to perfection since then.
The Habs are on a little warm streak of their own, having put together a 4-1-1 sequence, and Carey Price has posted matching 4-0 shutouts in his last two starts.
Whereas the Bruins are healthy, the Canadiens are not the team that beat them twice in the same week last month - veteran defencemen Hal Gill and Jaroslav Spacek are out through injury, as is injured winger Andrei Kostitsyn.
That means more ice time for rookie defencemen Frederic St-Denis, Raphael Diaz and Alexei Emelin, who may be put under considerable duress by Boston's big forwards.
Playoff hero Tim Thomas is expected to start in net for Boston.Report Typo/Error