Event: Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens
Date/Time: Thursday, January 12, 2012 - 7 p.m. EDT.
Location: TD Garden (Capacity: 17,565), Boston, MA.
Broadcast Info: Thursday's game between the Bruins and the Canadiens will be broadcast live on NESN as well as RDS(HD), TSN and NHLN-US(HD). The game can also be heard on 98.5 the Sports Hub Radio Network, with Dave Goucher providing play-by-play, and Bob Beers providing analysis.
Last Time Out: On Tuesday night, the Bruins came out and played another memorable game against the Winnipeg Jets. Most notably, Shawn Thornton had the game of his life.
It was the first game in Bruins history that there were two penalty shots in a game--one for, and one against Boston. And for Thornton, it was the first penalty shot of his professional career. He scored on it and did so in impressive fashion, despite admitting he was a little nervous going into it.
Also scoring for the Bruins were Nathan Horton who added two more goals to his season total, Tyler Seguin and Benoit Pouliot.
The Habs have been on quite a losing tear, and forward Mike Cammalleri made comments that sent the media in a frenzy. He spoke of a "loser’s mentality" yesterday after his team has picked up a miserable 3-8-0 record in their last 11 games.
They picked up two wins in a row at the beginning of the month before dropping their last game 3-0 against the Blues.
"Until we win, we’re losers," Canadiens defenseman Hal Gill said. "I think that’s a tough message, maybe, but we’ve got to win games."
Storyline: Unlike in games past, where harsh undertones and calls of foul play have been trademarks of a Canadiens/Bruins game, today’s morning skate took a bit of a turn, and there was an extreme lack of that attitude today.
This is the fifth time these two teams will meet, and the last one this regular season at TD Garden. They have split the season series with each other 2-2, and the two that Montreal won were way back in October, when the Bruins went on a 3-7-0 kick.
In the past two games against the Habs, the B’s have only outscored them 4-2, and both games have been hard-fought and close, but Montreal’s confidence has been wavering and with Boston’s booming, it will be interesting to see the outcome.
Right now, Boston is on fire, and Nathan Horton has been a key. He has five goals in four games, and head coach Claude Julien said he’s even noticed an improvement.
"I’d have to say [Horton’s play] picked up in the last week or so," Julien said. "You’ve seen him. When he’s emotionally involved in the game he brings a lot. He can be a physical player, a strong player-- he’s in the right spot and he buries his opportunities. To me, he started doing that and I see a guy turning the corner and I hope he keeps building on what he’s been doing this last week."
Players To Watch: Besides Horton, there are a couple other Bruins that have been making their names known over and over again. Centerman David Krejci is riding a nine-game point streak, Tyler Seguin is nursing his five-game streak, and Patrice Bergeron, Benoit Pouliot and Rich Peverley all also have point streaks heading into tonight.
Bruins recalled forward Jordan Caron from Providence with the absence of Brad Marchand due to his suspension and he’s expected to get some time on the ice.
"Right now with Marchand out, [Caron’s} a left winger and he’s a big body and we’re going to end up playing some big teams down the road," Julien said. "He’s certainly someone we need to rely on in big games if need be."
Prediction: The Habs are a hurting unit right now, but the Bruins can’t let that fool them into playing a soft game. The B’s have to play the same game they have been for the past few months, and with the state the Canadiens are in right now, they should come out on top. Final Score: Bruins 4, Canadiens 2.