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Canadiens-Bruins Preview

AP - Sports

The balanced attack of the Boston Bruins has helped them stay relatively fresh as they prepare for their fourth game in six nights.

An increase in offensive production has helped them pile up victories lately, too.

Boston seeks a season-best fifth straight win while looking to end a four-game losing streak to the visiting Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

The Atlantic Division-leading Bruins (34-15-3) have scored six goals in each of their last three contests, with 10 different players getting on the scoreboard.

Milan Lucic scored twice and David Krejci had a goal and two assists in Tuesday's 6-2 victory over Florida, as Boston improved to 5-0-1 in its last six. Krejci has two goals and seven assists in that stretch.

"It seems like the lines are clicking and the line combos are together right now," Lucic said. "I think that's why eight guys have been able to hit double-digits in goals.

"But in saying that, we want to keep pushing for more. I think it's great that it almost seems like we're pushing each other to want more, and I think that's a good thing to have in this room."

Being able to consistently roll four lines has been a luxury for coach Claude Julien, especially Tuesday in the second of a back-to-back set. Eleven different players recorded at least one point in that contest.

"It's been really good for us with this tough schedule, that we've been able to spread the ice time around a lot better than we have in the past," Julien said. "We realize that we're in a (tough) stretch here. It's important that you utilize your bench as much as you can. It's been good for our team, and it certainly hasn't stopped anyone from producing."

Boston didn't produce nearly as much offense in its first meeting with Montreal, falling 2-1 on Dec. 5. Carey Price made 32 saves for the Canadiens in that contest for his second straight win over the Bruins after five consecutive losses in the series.

Price stopped 36 shots and recorded his third shutout of the season to help Montreal (28-20-5) end a four-game skid with a 3-0 win over Carolina on Tuesday. Max Pacioretty and Brendan Gallagher had a goal and an assist apiece.

"You want to keep the ball rolling," coach Michel Therrien told the team's official website. "You want to make sure that you're playing the same way, with the same desperation and compete hard.

"We know that there's a rivalry with the Bruins. We're in a part of the schedule where every game is crucial. We have to take it one game at a time, live in the moment, and make sure that we're ready."

With their losing streak behind them, the Canadiens now are focused on winning a third straight road meeting with the rival Bruins. Montreal has been outscored 14-5 during a three-game road skid, though.

"We wanted a win before heading out to Boston. We're feeling a little bit more confident now to play a solid game," forward David Desharnais said. "We always tend to play well at TD Garden. There's a good rivalry between us. Earning that win before flying out was perfect."

Tuukka Rask made 28 saves for the Bruins on Tuesday and could be in net for this contest. He's struggled against the Canadiens, though, going 1-8-1 with a 3.11 goals-against average over his last 10 starts in the series.

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