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Bruins host rival Habs aiming for 5th straight win

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins and their red-hot offense will try to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games as the B's host the rival Montreal Canadiens in Thursday's clash at TD Garden.

Boston has matched a season high with four straight wins and Claude Julien's club has notched six goals in each of its past three victories. All told, the Bruins are outscoring the opposition by a 21-8 margin during their fourth four-game winning streak of the season.

In order to win five straight for the first time since a six-game run from Feb. 17-March 2 of last season, however, the Bruins will have to solve a Canadiens club that has won four straight in this series. Montreal took the first of four scheduled meetings between the Atlantic Division foes on Dec. 5, earning a 2-1 decision at the Bell Centre.

The Habs also have claimed two in a row and three of the past five encounters in Boston and Montreal recorded a 6-5 shootout victory when the Original Sox clubs last met in Beantown on March 27 of last season.

The Bruins' latest six-goal performance came Tuesday evening against a familiar face, as the Bruins victimized Florida Panthers goaltender Tim Thomas in his return to Boston. The former Bruins backstop gave up six goals on 41 shots in Florida's 6-2 loss at TD Garden.

The 39-year-old Thomas played for Boston for eight seasons (2002-03 & 2005-12), leading the Bruins to the 2011 Stanley Cup while earning the Conn Smythe Trophy. He also won two Vezina Trophies during his tenure with the Bruins and Tuesday marked Thomas' first game in Boston since he left the club after the 2011-12 season.

Milan Lucic had two goals for the Bruins, who hold a four-point lead over Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic.

David Krejci, Zdeno Chara, Reilly Smith and Shawn Thornton also lit the lamp, while Tuukka Rask stopped 28-of-30 shots for the victors.

"Yeah, we score five, six goals a game, you kind of expect to win," Rask said. "I know it's not going to happen every game, but it's good to have that offense going like that. We've been scoring goals because we play our system, not because we're trying to do too much out there, and that's a great sign."

Tuesday's triumph pushed Boston's record at home this season to 20-5-2. The Bruins have won two straight and four of their last five at TD Garden.

Montreal had lost four straight in regulation before recording a 3-0 win over the visiting Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. Carey Price made 36 saves for his third shutout of the season to anchor the Habs to a much-needed victory.

"We played very well defensively tonight," Price said. "We have a lot of guys sacrifice themselves blocking shots."

Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher each had a goal and an assist for the Canadiens. Brandon Prust also lit the lamp.

Montreal currently holds the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference and moved four points ahead of the Hurricanes in the standings after Tuesday's win. Carolina and Detroit are currently tied for the conference's eighth and final playoff berth.

The Canadiens are on the road for one game before beginning a four-game homestand Saturday against Tampa Bay. Montreal is 13-11-2 as the visiting team this season.

Price will get the start for Montreal tonight and is 17-8-3 with a 2.50 goals against average in 29 career games against the Bruins. Rask expects to get the call for Boston but he is only 2-9-2 with a 2.77 GAA in 14 lifetime appearances against the Habs.

01/30 10:54:51 ET

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Schedule

Thursday, April 17Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia1Final | Box
NY Rangers «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. New York leads series, 1-0.
Chicago3Final(OT3) | Box
St. Louis «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. St. Louis leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota4Final(OT) | Box
Colorado «5Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Colorado leads series, 1-0.
Los Angeles3Final | Box
San Jose «6Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. San Jose leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 3
NOR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
PHI 1
ATL 0
Final
DET 7
CLE 5
Final
MIN 7
TOR 0
Final
TEX 8
SEA 6
Final
SFG 1
LOS 2
Final
SDP 1
COL 3
Final
PIT 11
MIL 2
Final
WAS 0
STL 8
Final
TAM 2
NYY 10
Final
MIN 9
TOR 5
Final
CWS 1
BOS 3
Final
HOU 1
KAN 5
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
STL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
TOR
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
PHI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
HOU
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
 
Final
NYR 4
PHI 1
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
Final
COL 5
MIN 4
Final
SJS 6
LOS 3
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
DET
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
DUR 3
NOR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
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