MONTREAL — Greetings from the Bell Center, where tonight the Bruins and Canadiens continue their decades-long holy war, the drama ratcheted a smidge more in their last meeting, Feb. 9, when they combined for a total 187 minutes in a series of ol’ tyme Garden brawls. Final score: Bruins, 8-6.
Will we see more of the mudslinging and swashbuckling again here tonight in La Belle Provence?
“They get a lot of shots in behind the play,” said Brad Marchand, Boston’s L’il Ball o’ Hate, “and behind the legs … stuff like that. It’s tough. It’s very frustrating. Against a team like we have, tough and strong…they don’t like to take too much of that stuff.”
Added Milan Lucic: “We can’t spend our time in the penatly box — they have a dangerous power play.”
But if it comes to answering the bell?
“We are going to be team tough,” mused Looch. “We’re not going to go out and do anything stupid.”
A member of the Montreal media asked the hulking left winger if it was time again to refer to the club as The Big, Bad Bruins.
“If you want to call us that, sure,” said Lucic. “We have a lot of guys willing to stick up for each other.”
Puck drop: 7:30 p.m.
Records: Canadiens, 36-23-7; Bruins, 38-19-8.
TV/radio info: NESN (Jack Edwards, Andy Brickley, Naoko Funayama), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Nathan Horton
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Mark Recchi
Rich Peverley-Chris Kelly-Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Johnny Boychuk
Tomas Kaberle-Dennis Seidenberg
Matt Bartkowski-Adam McQuaid
Healthy scratches: Tyler Seguin
Storylines: A victory tonight would give the Bruins a seven-point lead over the Habs for first place in the Northeast Division. The Habs would have 15 games remaining, making it very difficult for them to overtake the B’s for the divisional crown (which guarantees a top three playoff seeding in the conference playoffs)….A very frustrated Tuukka Rask, nailed with a shot high to the chest late in the morning practice, heaved his goalie stick some 20 rows into the Bell Center stands and stomped off the ice. He was not available to the media after the workout. Coach Claude Julien reported no issue on the injury front for his backup ‘tender … Figure Tim Thomas to start in net for the Bruins, although he appeared to be shaking his glove hand late in practice, apparently stung by a shot, too … Mark Recchi is back in residence, after taking a personal day on Monday and not working out with the club in Wilmington … Patrice Bergeron is back, too, after dashing home to Quebec City over the weekend … The Bruins will hustle out of here after the game and will be back at it Thursday night when the Sabres visit the Garden … Montreal’s final visit to Causeway Street is March 24 … Tonight’s guys in stripes are referees Eric Furlatt and Bill McCreary, along with linesmen Tony Sericolo and Mark Shewchyk.