Canadiens hope Bruins are due
Patrick Roy's retirement ceremony on Saturday night could be the spark needed to launch the Montreal Canadiens into a healthy win streak (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 6:30 p.m. ET).
The Habs (11-5-2) will face the red-hot Bruins in Montreal at the Bell Centre after a ceremony honouring the Hall of Fame goaltender who led the team to a pair of Stanley Cups. The proceedings should provide the kind of closure needed after Roy abruptly departed for Colorado in December 1995.
This year's Canadiens are seeking closure on a recent patch of underachievement.
Montreal has won just three times in their last eight games, with those wins coming against Ottawa and St. Louis, not exactly NHL heavyweights.
Offence has been at a premium and, to make things worse, the Canadiens learned on Friday that tough defenceman Mike Komisarek will be out of the lineup for another month due to a shoulder injury.
Montreal was trailing lowly Ottawa well into the third period on Thursday before turning it around to prevail 3-2 in a shootout.
Defenceman Andrei Markov scored with less than five minutes left in the third and then converted in the shootout, along with Alex Tanguay. Captain Saku Koivu got Montreal's first goal, while goalie Carey Price made 23 saves.
Sergei Kostitsyn assisted on both the Markov and Koivu goals.
Boston pasted Montreal 6-1 just over a week ago. It was the first regular season victory for the Bruins over the Canadiens since March 3, 2007, a span of 12 games between the teams.
It was also a game in which Bruins bruiser Milan Lucic hastened Komisarek's departure to the sidelines.
Canadiens fans hope enforcer George Laraque can avenge that defeat on Saturday, although Lucic comes into the game on a mean streak, having fought the previous night.
Boston is on a 8-0-1 run. Its only loss during that span was a game in which it led 2-0 with seven minutes left in the third, and then settled for a shootout result.
But the Bruins will be playing their seventh game in 11 nights, and have to be beaten outright sooner or later, right?
The visitors defeated Florida 4-2 on Friday to move into a tie with the New York Rangers atop the NHL's Eastern Conference. Marc Savard and Patrice Bergeron each had a goal and assist, with Phil Kessel and Dave Krejci also scoring.
Savard is on a torrid run that has pushed him to a tie for second in the NHL with 27 points. He has two goals and nine assists during a five-game point streak.
L'Ancienne-Lorette, Que., native Bergeron appears to be hitting his stride, having taken time to adjust after missing nearly an entire year due to a concussion. Bergeron has a goal and five assists in his last six.
Kessel and Krejci, meanwhile, are part of a Bruins youth brigade of six forwards under the age of 23.
That group includes the popular Lucic, who bloodied Nick Boynton of the Panthers in a tussle during Friday's game.
The Bruins will be without forward Marco Sturm, who will miss a third straight game with an undisclosed upper body injury.
Montreal stormed out to a big lead before holding off Boston in the previous meeting this season at Bell Centre. The Canadiens prevailed 4-3 via shootout in the Oct. 15 game.
The Canadiens will return to action with a home game Tuesday against the New York Islanders.