Saku Koivu and the Montreal Canadiens are in Boston tonight attempting to extend their season long winning streak to six games. Unfortunately history will be against the Canadiens tonight as they have not won a road game on December 23rd since 1945, when they beat the Bruins in Boston. That season the Habs finished first over all and won their 6th Stanley Cup. Since that road win the Habs have gone 0-8-8 on the road on December 23rd. A special thanks to Francois Gagnon of La Presse for digging up that lovely tidbit.
But if recent history has any barring on tonight’s contest it should be a tight one, for the fact that all three previous meeting this season have been decided by a single goal scored in the final five minutes. Andrei Markov and Guillaume Latendresse scored the winners for the Canadiens on October 26th and December 12th and Brad Stuart tallied the winner for the Bruins on the 4th of December.
Cristobal Huet will be in goal for the Canadiens, Huet has won 3 in a row and suffered just a single regulation loss since November the 4th. 200 feet away will be an equally hot Tim Thomas. Thomas has won five of his last seven and is fresh of a shutout against the Canucks on Thursday night. Thomas has struggled against the Canadiens during his career against the Canadiens posting a 2-6 record in eight games.
On the injury front Steve Begin remains on the (IR) with a rib injury and Mathieu Dandenault appears day-to-day with a hand injury. The Bruins have two players out as well P.J. Axelsson is out with a foot injury and rookie Phil Kessel is still recovering from testicular cancer surgery.
1. The Bruins were out shot 14-0 in the third period of their 2-0 win over the Canucks on Thursday.
2. The Montreal Canadiens have the NHL’s second best road power play conversely the Bruins have the NHL’s second worst home penalty kill.
3. Montreal is one of only two Eastern Conference teams to allow 2.85 goals or less per game, only the Devils in the East have a lower average.
4. Bruins forward Marc Savard is currently on a six game point streak, he has scored 5 goals and 7 assists during that span. Savard has also scored 6 points in his last two games against the Canadiens.