Puck Off

Montreal @ Boston

Wednesday night’s NHL action features a decisive clash at the top of the Northeast division between the Montreal Canadiens and the Boston Bruins.

The Bruins hold one of the best home records in the NHL, but their most recent home defeat came against the Canadiens.

If there’s a repeat performance tonight then a power shift will take place at the top of the Northeast Division with the Canadiens usurping their biggest rivals and taking top spot.

Boston (21-7-3) and Montreal (20-7-5) are tied at the top of the Northeast heading into the final month of the regular season, and the Bruins have their 11-2-1 home record to thank.

They’re playing 10 of their remaining 17 games at the TD Garden, where they haven’t lost since a 4-3 defeat to the Canadiens on 3rd March.

This should bode well for Boston, but also places a great deal of importance on tonight’s game where momentum can be won or lost for the home stretch of the regular season.

The Bruins will look to Patrice Bergeron who leads Boston with 27 points, and has 30 in 31 career home meetings with the Canadiens including the playoffs. He had a goal and two assists in the loss earlier this month and will hope a repeat performance can swing the result.

Brad Marchand had a career-high three assists in that matchup with Montreal, but he’s only scored one of his team-high 13 goals in the Bruins’ last 11 games.

The Canadiens have been struggling offensively and defeat in this match would equal their worst 3 game run since the beginning of February. They’ve scored once in two games despite holding a 76-43 advantage in shots on goal.

This was evident as Montreal outshot Eastern Conference leaders Pittsburgh 37-25 on Tuesday but still lost 1-0.

Max Pacioretty has missed the net with all seven of his shots in each of the last two games. The left wing, the team leader with 25 points, may be hoping another visit to Boston can get him back in form. He had one goal, one assist and a plus-3 rating in the first meeting there.

With this in mind we’re backing the Bruins to reverse their fortunes from the sides last meeting and take control of the Northeast at -166.

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