The Montreal Canadiens ranked 24th in the NHL this season. The Boston Bruins had a significant lead on the rest of the NHL at the time of the pause, going on to claim the Presidents’ Trophy by an eight-point margin. In a playoff format that seeds worst against first in each round of the playoffs, a Habs-Bruins matchup was a possibility in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
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The Penguins battle against Montreal for a spot in the Eastern Conference playoffs has been about as closely matched as you can get to this point. Montreal won the first game in a narrow 3-2 overtime final while the Penguins got the better of the Canadiens in a 3-1 win on Monday. Now both teams have the chance to move to just one win away from a playoff berth in game three of the series on Wednesday.