The Canadiens look for their eighth straight win against Boston when they visit the TD Banknorth Garden on Tuesday, also hoping to come away with at least a point for their seventh straight game overall.
Montreal (21-13-8) has already beaten the Bruins (21-17-4) four times this season, outscoring them 19-8. But their dominance of their fellow Original Six teams extends back much further.
The Canadiens also beat the Bruins in the last three meetings of 2006-07, and are 19-4-0 against them including playoffs since they trailed Boston 3-1 in a first-round playoff series in the 2003-04 season. The Canadiens went on to win that series with Claude Julien behind the bench—he’s now in his first season as Bruins coach.
Montreal is 4-0-2 in its last six games, including a 4-3 overtime win at home over Chicago on Tuesday. Guillaume Latendresse scored with less than two minutes remaining in the extra session after the Canadiens had lost in overtime in two of the three previous games.
“I think it was important for us to get the two points and get a goal like that,” Latendresse said. “It was a great feeling. We had a lot of chances in the third period so it was fun to bury it at the end.”
The Canadiens’ offense has not missed many chances in recent games. Montreal is averaging 4.5 goals in its last six, led by two goals and seven assists from Tomas Plekanec. Andrei Kostitsyn also has five goals in those games.
Montreal has already had six- and seven-goal games against Boston this season with 15 players scoring for the Canadiens.
They had 52 shots on the Bruins’ Tim Thomas in a 7-4 win on Nov. 17. Thomas has lost four straight against Montreal, with a 4.05 goals-against average over that span.
But he’s found his form again recently, with just a 1.51 GAA in his past four games. The first three were wins, but the Bruins lost 1-0 to Carolina on Tuesday.
“Timmy did his part, we just didn’t get that tying goal,” Boston’s Peter Schaefer said.
Julien was angry as his team mustered only five shots on goal in the final period.
“This team has not been capable of working for 60 minutes for a while now,” he told the team’s official Web site. “Sometimes you have to get embarrassed to react, and tonight is hopefully one of those nights we got embarrassed enough to react.”
The Bruins are 11-7-2 at home this season, but the Canadiens are 13-6-3 on the road, including two wins in Boston.
“(They’re) one of those teams that we haven’t beaten yet this year,” Julien said. “Knowing that they are in our division, that they are four points ahead of us - it is a big game.”
Bruins defenseman Aaron Ward is likely to return after missing eight games with a broken foot.