NHL Hockey: Boston at Montreal Print
Written by TheSpread   
Monday, 04 December 2006 04:28
NHL Headline News

Montreal Can Win Seventh Straight Tonight With Victory Over Rival Bruins

Team Page: Boston :: Montreal

59% of Bets Placed on Montreal -178 | Matchup | Goalies
The Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins have been playing each other for more than 80 years. Lately, though, it's been the Canadiens that have had the upper hand over their Original Six rival.

Montreal looks for its seventh straight victory against Boston when the teams meet on Monday at the Bell Center.

Oddsmakers have made Montreal -178 money line (NHL Odds) favorites for todays game, the over/under has been set at 6 total goals (View NHL Sports Books).

The Canadiens (15-7-3) also have won nine of the past 11 matchups between the teams, including a 3-2 victory in Boston on Oct. 26. Andrei Markov scored a power-play goal with 1.2 seconds left, prompting a shower of garbage from Bruins fans that forced officials to call the game before the final buzzer.

``When you see the bottles with liquid being thrown from 20 rows up, you worry about your head or face being hurt. The referees did the right thing to end the game,'' Montreal captain Saku Koivu said. ``It was a huge win. It feels a lot bigger when you steal it in the last few seconds.''

This is the first of three meetings this month between the teams - they meet once in Boston, twice in Montreal, where the Canadiens have won four straight over the Bruins.

Montreal has only three home losses and a tie versus Boston in its last 12 home games.

Both teams are playing well entering this contest. Montreal has won seven of its past 10 games, including a 4-3 shootout victory over Toronto on Saturday in another Original Six matchup.

Koivu scored two third-period goals to rally erase a two-goal deficit and Sheldon Souray faked a slap shot before putting a forehand past Andrew Raycroft for the shootout winner.

``If I had room, I definitely would have shot it, but I think I managed to freeze him a bit,'' said Souray, who was surprised coach Guy Carbonneau picked him to shoot. ``The pressure wasn't on me. I don't think anyone expected me to score.''

Souray, though, leads all defensemen with nine goals, including seven on the power play, and 18 assists.

Cristobal Huet continued to solidify his bid as starting goaltender over David Aebischer. Huet made 36 saves to win for the seventh time in eight starts, and is 5-1 with a 1.17 goals-against average and three shutouts in six career starts against Boston.

Montreal has won five of its last six at home.

The Bruins lost 5-2 to Carolina on Saturday, snapping a three-game winning streak. Still, Boston (12-10-2) has won eight of its past 11 games after starting the season 4-7-2.

``I thought we actually played a pretty good game,'' Bruins coach Dave Lewis said. ``We had a strong game plan, I think it worked for us. You can see why (the Hurricanes) won the Stanley Cup, capitalizing on a couple of chances.''

Patrice Bergeron had an assist, extending his career-best point streak to nine games. The center has two goals and 10 assists in that span. The Quebec native had two assists against the Canadiens in their October matchup, and has four goals and seven points in his last three games against them.

Boston's recent surge pushed it back over .500, but the team remains last in the ultra-competitive Northeast Division. Buffalo has an Eastern Conference-best 42 points, nine points ahead of second-place Montreal and 16 in front of Boston.

by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us

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