The Bruins and Canadiens will hook up for the seventh time this evening. The Canadiens have dominated the season series winning all but one of the first six meetings. The Habs have also outscored the Bruins by a two to one margin. Saturday night Cristobal Huet continued to be a thorn in the Bruins side shutting them out for the third consecutive game. Garth
Brian Leetch and Glen Murray are expected to return to the Bruins line-up and will be counted on to provide an extra offensive punch. Leetch sat out last game because he was hit on the head by Daniel Briere’s stick last Wednesday. Glen Murray was out due to flu like symptoms.
The Canadiens remain in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. Once again the Habs find themselves tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning for seventh spot and trail the New Jersey Devils by two points, all the while holding a game at hand on both clubs. With just eight games remaining in the regular season the Canadiens hold a seven point cushion on the ninth place Atlanta Thrashers.
Bob Gainey has decided to shuffle his line-up again as Richard Zednik has earned a spot in the press box. Jan Bulis will take his spot in the line-up and on the power play. However Bulis will not take his spot on the second line with Ribeiro and Kovalev, that spot has been rewarded to Garth Murray for his tenacious effort over the past few weeks. Francis Bouillon suffered a set back on his injured ankle and could very well be unavailable for the next four to six weeks.
Other than their own game tonight the Canadiens have no vested interest in any of the out of town scores around the NHL.
Cristobal Huet, who is the NHL’s save percentage and goals against average leader this season, won the defensive player of the week honors from the NHL yesterday and was a runner up to the Senators Ray Emery for the monthly award. Huet will be seeking his third set of back-to-back shutouts this season.
1. Cristobal Huet is riding a five game winning streak; during that time frame he has recorded two shutouts, a 0.99 goals against average of and a .969 save percentage.
2. Canadiens goal scoring leader Michael Ryder has just one even strength goal in his last twenty one games.
3. The Canadiens are one of only seven teams in the NHL to boast three or more defensemen with 30+ points.
4. Patrice Bergeron is on pace to be the first French Canadian to lead the Bruins in scoring since Ray Bourque in 1991-1992.