After suffering their first regulation loss in ugly fashion, the Boston Bruins got back on track defensively and earned another victory. They've had no trouble doing that when facing the archrival Montreal Canadiens recently.
The Bruins try for their fifth straight win in the series when they meet a Canadiens team that's also off to a fast start Wednesday night in Montreal.
Boston (6-1-1) lost 7-4 to Buffalo on Thursday after giving up four consecutive goals in the third period, but defeated Toronto 1-0 on Saturday. Chris Bourque scored and Tuukka Rask rebounded after giving up six goals against the Sabres to make 21 saves for his first shutout of the season.
"That was our type of hockey defensively, and for the most part offensively, too," Rask said.
The Bruins have given up two or fewer goals five times. They held a 34-21 shot advantage over the Maple Leafs and have outshot five straight opponents, though they are just 3 for 30 on the power play for the season, putting them near the bottom of the NHL.
Boston is averaging more than 32 shots.
"It's been that kind of thing for us I think since the beginning of the year," coach Claude Julien said. "We talk about five on five, we talk about power play, and the results aren't always there. We're getting chances, real good quality chances to score, but you hope that part turns around."
As with their fast start to the season, the Bruins have fashioned their four-game winning streak versus the Canadiens without much help from their power play, going 1 for 15 in that span. Boston won each matchup by one goal, taking the most recent 4-3 on Feb. 15 for its second consecutive road victory in the series.
None of those games were played by Rask, whose recent results against Montreal have been the exact opposite of his team's in those four contests. Rask has lost five straight starts to the Canadiens with a 3.45 goals-against average, last facing them Oct. 29, 2011.
If he's in net Wednesday, he'll face a Montreal team that's won five in a row at the Bell Centre and will be closing out a three-game homestand. The Canadiens (6-2-0) defeated Ottawa 2-1 on Sunday for their second straight victory overall, allowing one goal for the second consecutive game.
The Canadiens opened last season 1-5-2 and went 16-15-10 at home.
"You never know what to expect when you have a new coach, new system and everything," defenseman Josh Gorges said of coach Michel Therrien. "We have a group here that wants to get it done. They want to pay the price, win the battles."
Carey Price made 32 saves against the Senators and has won his past six starts with a 1.65 GAA. Like Rask, he has a losing streak against Tuesday's opponent, having been in net for all four games during Montreal's skid in the series and posting a 2.24 GAA.
The Canadiens have allowed 17 goals, among the fewest in the league.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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