Montreal (31-18-8) at Boston (28-23-6)
When: Sunday, February 12th 2017
Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA
Time: 7:35 ET | TV: NBC Sports
The Boston Bruins will look for their third straight victory under new head coach Bruce Cassidy when they host the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens on Sunday night. The Bruins beat San Jose 6-3 on Thursday after Cassidy replaced Claude Julien and they followed that up by scoring a late goal to edge Vancouver 4-3 on Saturday afternoon. Boston’s offense is on fire right now, scoring three goals or more in seven straight games thanks in part to the power play (10-for-23, last seven games). The hottest player on the team is David Pastrnak, who has recorded five goals and four assists over the last four games. Pastrnak ranks second on the team in points with 47 – 10 behind Brad Marchand, who was held off the scoresheet Saturday but has 13 points in his last eight games. Veteran forward Patrice Bergeron has also raised his production level despite going scoreless Saturday, recording 12 points in his last seven games. No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask (26-13-4, 2.32 goals-against average, .910 save percentage) was rested on Saturday and should be back between the pipes after Anton Khudobin turned aside 29 shots versus Vancouver.
Montreal comes in as a worn out group, playing its eighth game in 13 days before receiving the next five days off. The Canadiens are 2-4-1 during the stretch so far after falling 4-2 at home against St. Louis on Saturday despite allowing just 22 shots on goal. Carey Price was rested Saturday and should be back in net, but the former Hart and Vezina Trophy winner owns just a .875 save percentage this month in four games. Montreal’s offense has been the opposite of Boston’s, producing just five goals in five February losses, but the Canadiens expect to get forward Brendan Gallagher (hand) back in the lineup Sunday after he missed more than a month. Captain Max Pacioretty has a team-high 50 points with six of them coming in the last two games after recording a goal and an assist in Saturday’s loss despite battling the flu. Defenseman Shea Weber scored his 13th goal, but the Canadiens need a boost from center Alex Galchenyuk (two points, seven games). The Canadiens gained points in all three meetings this season, including a 4-2 victory at Boston on October 22nd.
Boston is really tough to stop right now and they seem to be playing with a spark under Cassidy. Montreal is tired and ready for a five day break. I think the Bruins take them down tonight.
Pick: Bruins -133