Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins Pick & Prediction MARCH 23rd 2023

Stadium: TD Garden Boston
Logo Montreal Canadiens
Logo Boston Bruins

6.5o -107
-1.5 -160



Every team goes through ups and downs over the course of a long NHL season.

The Boston Bruins, who host the Montreal Canadiens for the only time this season on Thursday night, have just experienced far fewer downs in between the ups.

Boston (54-11-5, 113 points) has strung together four consecutive wins since dropping back-to-back games in regulation for the first time a week ago Sunday and Tuesday in Detroit and Chicago, respectively.

"The energy levels will go up and we'll be feeling really good about ourselves and guys will have tons of energy, and then you'll have cycles where the energy isn't," Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. "That's what happened to us for a little while. We couldn't make 15-foot passes. That isn't common for us."

Boston's recent streak has coincided with the power play starting to click again.

Tuesday's 2-1 win over Ottawa marked the third straight game in which the Bruins have scored a man-up goal. They tallied just one over a previous six-game stretch.

Brad Marchand has logged points (six in total, all assists) across all three of those games, including an incredible cross-ice pass to set up Jake DeBrusk's game-winning goal.

DeBrusk has netted goals in three straight, joining Marchand with six points over that span.

"I think it was just great passes from my linemates (that led to scoring), honestly," DeBrusk said. "Just trying to get to the net."

Although Marchand said he still has not returned to 100 percent after undergoing offseason hip surgery, Montgomery believes he looks closer than he has this season.

"I think he's found his groove here and he's making a lot of plays again, which is great to see," Montgomery said. "Just the way he's attacking defensemen's feet, pulling up, reading off of their joints. If their ankles or knees are turned one way, he's going the other way."

Continuing a straight goaltending rotation, Linus Ullmark made 40 saves -- including 21 in the second period -- on the way to his 10th win in 11 starts.

Jeremy Swayman, who has pitched back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his NHL career, is in line to start against Montreal.

The Canadiens (28-37-6, 62 points) are coming off just their second win in 11 games (2-7-2), a 3-2 Tuesday triumph over Tampa Bay, one of Boston's closest Atlantic Division competitors.

The game was the second in a home-and-home set with the Lightning.

"I liked our game," Montreal coach Martin St. Louis said. "It's fun because you played the same team last game so you have a lot of examples. You can really show the things you need to improve and the way you want to show up against them, the things you want to do."

Conversely, the lone meeting with Boston was on Jan. 24, a 4-2 Bruins win in Montreal.

Brendan Gallagher and Kirby Dach returned for the second Tampa Bay game after missing 32 and 16 games, respectively, with lower-body injuries.

Dach, who had not played since Feb. 14, scored a goal.

"A lot of times when you're coming back from injury you're in the (locker) room working out, but I was in a (cast) so you're not able to do that," Gallagher said. "You see the game a lot different from up top. If you use that, it can be helpful."

Among the list of nine injured players as of Tuesday, forward Jake Evans and defenseman Jordan Harris appear close to returning. Both traded in non-contact jerseys and participated in Wednesday's practice.

A Massachusetts native and former Northeastern University captain, Harris has been ruled out due to a lower-body injury. Evans could play.

Forward Josh Anderson (ankle) will not travel after being injured on Tuesday.

--Field Level Media

Montreal Canadiens
Boston Bruins

Montreal Canadiens vs. Boston Bruins

David Pastrnak completed his fourth hat trick of the season and surpassed 40 goals as the Boston Bruins beat the visiting Montreal Canadiens 4-1 Wednesday night.

Pastrnak regained the league lead with his 41st goal when he scored his third of the night late in the second period.

Patrice Bergeron added an empty-netter and an assist, and Brad Marchand had three assists as the Bruins won for the seventh time in their past eight games. Tuukka Rask stopped 28 shots to improve to 13-0-6 at home this season.

Marco Scandella scored for the Canadiens, who lost their second straight. Carey Price made 34 saves for Montreal.

Pastrnak became the first Bruin to reach 40 goals in a season since Glen Murray scored 44 in 2002-03 when he and Sean Kuraly teamed on a two-on-one breakaway up ice at 4:16 of the second period. Pastrnak cut in front of Price and beat him with a snipe top shelf for his second marker and a 2-0 Boston lead.

The Canadiens got back in it 36 seconds later when Scandella got the puck past Rask on a one-timer from the blue line.

After two sets off offsetting penalties midway through the middle period, the Bruins found themselves on a four-on-three when Joel Armia was penalized for roughing Torey Krug at 15:14.

Just 31 seconds later, Pastrnak completed his hat trick when Bergeron deflected to him the rebound of Marchand's initial shot for a 3-1 margin.

The Bruins, who outshot the Canadiens 26-19 through two periods, kept up the pressure through the third. Price was pulled with about 2:30 remaining, and Bergeron scored with the net empty with 20 seconds left.

Pastrnak scored his first goal after Marchand stole the puck in the neutral zone, battle toward the net through two defenders and found Pastrnak on his right to score at 6:59 of the first period.

Pastrnak, 23, is the first Bruin to register four hat tricks in a season since Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr each did it in 1974-75.

--Field Level Media