NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, October 27th (All times eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (2-5-2) at Boston Bruins (3-5-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - It hasn't been the best of starts for the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins, who look to jumpstart their season tonight in the opener of a home-and-home series with the rival Montreal Canadiens at TD Garden.
The Bruins captured their first title since 1972 with a Game 7 victory over the Canucks in last season's finals, but have lost five of eight to begin this campaign. Boston opened up with a favorable schedule, slated to play 13 of its first 17 games on home ice, but hasn't taken advantage. The club is just 2-4 as the host following Saturday's 4-2 setback to the San Jose Sharks.
Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin scored 29 seconds apart in the third period to even the game, but the Sharks went ahead on Benn Ferriero's tally 8:48 into the final frame. Tim Thomas made 26 saves in defeat.
"We got off to a bad start, but the rest of the game I thought we played well," Bruins head coach Claude Julien said.
Seguin has three goals and six points in his past five games and will look to stay hot tonight in the finale of a four-game homestand. The Bruins will visit the Canadiens on Saturday and bring fresh legs into this game. Boston's just- completed four-day break between games was its longest stretch without a contest until Dec. 24-27.
However, that time off has also given the Bruins time to hear more about their Stanley Cup hangover. Julien hopes his team can avoid the talk and just perform on the ice.
"I think we're making a lot out of all this stuff," said the coach. "We have to stop worrying about what's going on on the outside and the perception and the reasons and everything else and just start worrying about ourselves and playing our game and playing it properly."
Montreal will be a good test for the Bruins as it has won six of eight and nine of the last 12 meetings between the clubs. Boston has won the last two at home, including a 7-0 blowout in the most recent encounter on March 24.
The Habs are also in the midst of a poor start, but may have picked up some momentum last night with a 5-1 win over the Flyers. Max Pacioretty shook off a wrist injury to net two goals and assist on another to help Montreal halt a six-game slide.
Montreal also won for the first time in six games at home (1-3-2) and at 1-5-2 before last night's win was off to its worst start since opening up the 1941-42 campaign 1-10-1.
Pacioretty's gritty performance came on the same day that assistant coach Perry Pearn was fired.
"Ninety percent of the league plays hurt every night, a lot of the guys do it," Pacioretty said. "It was a great team game tonight. It seems I always play better after an injury."
Yannick Weber, Andrei Kostitsyn and Mike Cammalleri netted the other goals for Montreal, which got 21 saves in net from Carey Price in his 100th career victory.
The Canadiens will now play three of four and five of their next seven on the road.
10/27 10:48:41 ET