MONTREAL — Bonjour from this beautiful city, where tonight the bedraggled Bruins (3-5-0 in their last 8 games) will try to rebound against the Habs after suffering a 3-0 shutout at the hands of the red-hot Rangers Tuesday night on Causeway St.
The Bruins decided to scrap their routine day-of-game workout and won’t report to the Bell Centre until a couple of hours prior to the 7:35 faceoff.
Given that his squad has scored only once at even-strength in its last three games (including two shutouts), coach Claude Julien might scramble his lines tonight. Although, without a morning workout, it’s more likely he’ll open with more customary trios, including the Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin combination and the ”energy” line of Danny Paille-Greg Campbell-Shawn Thornton.
The Bruins outshot the Rangers, 42-20, but again had trouble putting intense scoring pressure on the opposition’s netminder, Henrik Lundqvist. They squeezed out a 4-3 shootout win vs. Nashville on Saturday, while also piling up a 41-22 shot advantage through 65 minutes. Lots of shots, few scoring chances.
Three things your faithful puck scribe would try:
1. Moving Tyler Seguin off right wing and to center, his natural position. Time to shake up all combinations.
2. Sit the ineffective Joe Corvo and try rookie Andrew Bodnarchuk on the back line.
3. Start Tuukka Rask in back-back starts for first time since late-December. Tim Thomas allowed six goals in starts Saturday and Tuesday, facing only 42 shots (a substandard .857 save percentage). The Bruins play again Friday night in Winnipeg.
Puck drop: 7:35 p.m. EST
Record: Bruins, 34-18-2; Canadiens, 23-25-9
TV/radio info: NBC Sports Network; 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic-Chris Kelly-Rich Peverley
Benoit Pouliot-David Krejci-Jordan Caron
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg-Joe Corvo
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Healthy scratches: Josh Hennessy, Andrew Bodnarchuk
Storylines: The Bruins had a rocky 1-4-0 run at the start of Feb. ’11, then rattled off seven straight wins. The run included a 6-0 record on the road, the first time since 1972 that they swept a half-dozen on a roadie….The Bruins tonight will see old pal Hal Gill on defense. The behemoth blue liner, who will be 37 in April, is believed to be on Boston’s shopping list with the Feb. 27 trade deadline approaching. In 52 games, Pal Hal is 1-7–8 and a minus-6….Max Pacioretty has rebounded well from the shattering hit he took from Zdeno Chara here last year and leads the Habs in scoring with 23-20–43. Ex-Canes winger Erik Cole is next with 21-21–42. Losing Cole to free agency last summer could convince the Canes to cling desperately to Tuomo Ruutu, who is also headed to UFA on July 1. Ruutu, another to be rumored on Boston’s deadline shopping list, suffered a core injury Monday night here in Montreal. His status is day-to-day…Nathan Horton will miss his ninth straight game tonight while still recovering from concussion-related symptoms. Ample dashes of Marc Savard and Horton could help a team with only one even-strength goal in three games. It had to catch up at some point…Thomas started four of the last five games for Boston and went 2-2-0 in the four starts….Cup-winning Tomas Kaberle ranks third for assists (23) among all Canadiens. He picked up some of those while toiling as a Cane, before being flipped here for Jaro Spacek (also now on Boston’s shopping list). Kaberle is averaging 17:50 TOI and is carrying an eyesore minus-16…David Krejci, a near-bankrupt 0-1–1 over his last eight games, has dipped to a minus-5 ranking. He is a minus-9 since Jan. 7.