Though they’re one of the most successful franchises in all of professional sports, the Montreal Canadiens will celebrate their 100th anniversary looking to avoid matching their longest losing streak of the season.
The struggling Canadiens try to prevent a fifth consecutive loss when they host their longtime rival and surging Boston Bruins on Friday night.
The Canadiens (12-14-2) would like nothing more than to snap their skid by beating their Original Six rival to culminate a five-year celebration of the franchise’s founding at the old Windsor Hotel in Montreal on Dec. 4, 1909.
The Canadiens, whose 24 Stanley Cup victories trail only the New York Yankees’ 27 World Series titles for the most championships by a franchise in one of the four major North American sports, will celebrate the Centennial Game by featuring a number of their former stars. The current Montreal players hope the memories of “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, Jacques Plante and Guy Lafleur will help provide some momentum as they try to avoid equaling a five-game losing streak from Oct. 6-17.
Montreal had just eight shots over the first two periods of Thursday’s 6-2 loss at Buffalo. The Canadiens have been outscored 16-6 during their 0-3-1 stretch.
That should be the case again Friday, though Montreal snapped a five-game losing streak to the Bruins with a 2-1 shootout victory at Boston on Nov. 5. Glen Metropolit(notes) scored in regulation and Michael Cammalleri(notes) added the winner in the tiebreaker.
Cammalleri leads the team with 12 goals, but has not scored in his last four games. He has three goals in four career games against Boston (14-8-5), which has won four straight on the road to improve to 6-3-2.
The Bruins have won two in a row during a 6-0-1 stretch that followed a mediocre 8-8-4 start.
“The expectation was so high. Us getting off to a slow start kind of threw everybody for a loop - fans, media,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “I think we’re finding our game slowly.”
So is Savard, who missed 15 games because of a broken foot but has a point in each of his four games since returning Nov. 23. The veteran forward, who has five goals and six assists in his last 11 games overall, hopes to continue that success now that his contract situation has been settled.
“It was a load off my mind, to tell the truth,” said Savard, who has three goals and two assists in his last six games against the Canadiens. “I wanted to stay in one city, so it’s good to be able to do it here.”
The reigning Vezina Trophy winner is 8-12-3 with a 2.89 GAA all-time versus the Canadiens.
Price is 7-10-2 with a 2.86 GAA this season and 7-2-2 with a 2.64 GAA all-time against Boston.