The Boston Bruins (11-1-2, 24 points) and Montreal Canadiens (7-5-2, 16 points) are set to renew hockey’s oldest, and quite frankly best, rivalry tonight at the Bell Centre. The Bruins have won six straight, including a wild 6-4 affair against the Pittsburgh Penguins last night at TD Garden. This is the first of four meetings between the sides this season and the first of two in Montreal. They’ll next meet on November 26th at the Bell Centre.
Tonight’s game can be seen live on NBCSN at 7:30 pm.
This concludes the first set of back-to-back games for the Bruins this season. They’ll play back-to-back two more times this month. They’ll face Toronto and Washington on November 15th and 16th, then face Montreal and Ottawa on November 26th and 27th. All three sets include some kind of travel.
Roster Changes As Injuries Mount
Zach Senyshyn was spotted outside of TD Garden last night boarding the Bruins bus as they got set to travel to Montreal. Earlier this morning, the club officially announced his recall from AHL Providence. Senyshyn has struggled this season in Providence, registering just three points (2 g, 1 a) in 12 games. He looked good in a small two-game sample at the end of last season, however.
To make room for the forward, the Bruins placed Par Lindholm on IR. Lindholm has been out since Boston’s victory in New York nine days ago. His injury is classified as an upper-body injury, per the team.
Not yet placed on IR, David Backes will miss his second straight game since leaving Saturday’s tilt after a scary collision with Scott Sabourin. Cassidy confirmed on Monday that Backes would miss both last night and tonight. John Moore and Kevan Miller remain out of the lineup, with no estimated return date. Both are skating.
Zdeno Chara’s Hall-of-Fame career will get another accolade tonight in Montreal. Chara will become just the 21st player in NHL history to play in 1,500 career games. He’s also just the sixth defenseman in league history to accomplish that. Chara, when asked about the milestone called it special. “It’s a special, special night,” Chara told reporters earlier this morning.
Charlie McAvoy showed excitement this morning when asked about his defensive partner’s milestone. “What an unbelievable accomplishment…he’s a special guy. I couldn’t be happier for him. I’ll make sure to give him a big hug tonight,” McAvoy said with a smile this morning.
Chara officially will pass Mike Modano tonight. Modano played in 1,499 career games with the Minnesota North Stars, Dallas Stars and Detroit Red Wings. The five other defensemen to hit the mark are Nicklas Lindstrom, Ray Bourque, Larry Murphy, Scott Stevens and Chris Chelios.
Chara could end up in the top 15 in games played by the end of the season. He has to pass Steve Yzerman (1,514), Matt Cullen (1,516), Brendan Shanahan (1,524), Shane Doan/Johnny Bucyk (1,540) and Alex Delvecchio (1,549). Chara is 64 games behind Lindstrom as he tries to crack the top five for defensemen. It’s possible he hits that mark this season.
Brad Marchand notched five more points in last night’s victory over the Penguins. Per NHL PR, he recorded the tenth instance since 1986-87 of a player recording multiple five-point outings through his team’s first 14 games. If that wasn’t enough, he and David Pastrnak recorded their 9th (Pasta) and 8th (Marchand) multi-point games. They are just the second set of Bruins to do that through 14 games, joining Phil Esposito (9) and Bobby Orr (8). They accomplished that in 1974-75.
Marchand is currently riding a 13-game point streak. He was held off the board in Dallas on opening night, but has recorded at least one point in every game since then. That includes two five-point nights. He’s second in the league with 28 points, trailing Pastrnak by just one. He leads Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl by a point.
Boston Bruins Lines
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – David Krejci – Danton Heinen
Anders Bjork – Charlie Coyle – Brett Ritchie
Zach Senyshyn/Cameron Hughes – Sean Kuraly – Chris Wagner
Zdeno Chara – Charlie McAvoy
Torey Krug – Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk – Connor Clifton
Rask is the starter tonight after Jaroslav Halak got the victory against the Penguins. Cassidy confirmed that Rask will get the nod tonight. Senyshyn and Hughes are both game-time decisions, per Cassidy. Only one will likely get the go tonight. Hughes played 9:53 with one shot attempt in his NHL debut. The other lineup question surrounds Ritchie, who returned last night.
Ritchie was dealing with an infected cut, per Cassidy. It’s still not yet known if he can go back-to-back. It goes without saying, this is a tentative lineup.
Montreal Canadiens Lines
Tomas Tatar – Phillip Danault – Brendan Gallagher
Jonathan Drouin – Max Domi – Joel Armia
Artturi Lehkonen – Ryan Poehling – Paul Byron
Nick Cousins – Nate Thompson – Nick Suzuki
Victor Mete – Shea Weber
Ben Chiarot – Jeff Petry
Mike Reilly – Cale Fleury
Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Noah Juulsen will miss tonight’s game as both are currently on IR. Poehling, who scored a hat-trick in his NHL debut last season, will play his first game of the NHL season tonight. He has five points (3 g, 2 a) in 13 games with AHL Laval this season. Jordan Weal, Brett Kulak and Christian Folin are the scratches for Montreal, based on yesterday’s practice lines.