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Canadiens at Boston Bruins: Five things you should know

 Canadiens’ Jesperi Kotkaniemiskates the puck against Charlie McAvoy of the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, in Montreal.
Canadiens’ Jesperi Kotkaniemiskates the puck against Charlie McAvoy of the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, in Montreal.

Here are five things you should know about the Canadiens-Bruins game at TD Garden on Sunday (7p.m., Sportsnet, RDS, TSN 690 Radio) .

The matchup: The Canadiens and the Bruins split their first two games this season at the Bell Centre. The Canadiens were 5-4 winners on Nov. 5, but the Bruins exacted their revenge last Tuesday when they crushed the Canadiens 8-1. Montreal picked up a point Saturday when it took Philadelphia to overtime, but the Canadiens’ losing streak has reached seven games (0-4-3). The Bruins have won six in a row and are 7-0-3 in their last 10 games. Boston is coming off a 3-2 home win over the New York Rangers on Friday and has a 10-0-4 record at the TD Garden.

The goaltenders: Carey Price had the day off Saturday and he should be well-rested as he attempts to atone for a less-than-stellar performance against the Bruins on Tuesday. While he didn’t get a lot of support from his teammates at either end of the ice, Price did give up five goals on only 11 shots before he was pulled 70 seconds into the second period. Former Canadien Jaroslav Halak was very good Tuesday, but Tuukka Rask figures to start for the Bruins. He has posted a 12-2-2 record this season and is among the NHL leaders in every goaltending category. He’s tied for second in wins and goals-against average (2.10) and fifth in save percentage (.931).

Tatar leads the offence: Tomas Tatar has had his ups and downs this season but, after 26 games, he’s the Canadiens’ top scorer and he’s on his way to another career season. Tatar, who was acquired from Las Vegas in the trade for Max Pacioretty, scored two goals against the Flyers on Saturday. That gives him nine goals and a team-leading 24 points. Nick Suzuki, who was also involved in that trade, assisted on Tatar’s second goal and he’s having a solid rookie campaign with six goals and 13 points. Joel Armia has goals in each of the past two games and also has nine goals.

More injury woes: The Canadiens go into Boston without top-four defenceman Victor Mete. He suffered a lower-body injury. He’ll be examined Sunday and Montreal could be in trouble if he’s out for an extended period because the Canadiens will have to promote someone from a group of defenceman who have been in and out of the lineup this season. Meanwhile, Bruins centre Patrice Bergeron continues to be out of the lineup because of a groin injury.

Pastrnak tops snipers: David Pastrnak, who had a goal and an assist in Friday’s win over the Rangers, is running away with the NHL goal-scoring race. He has 24 goals in 26 games and that puts him six ahead of teammate Brad Marchand and Edmonton’s Connor McDavid. Alex Ovechkin, who has won the Maurice (Rocket) Richard Trophy a record eight times, has 17 goals, Marchand has developed into one of the best two-way forwards in the NHL and he leads the Bruins in scoring with 43 points, two more than Pastrnak. Marchand also has the best plus-minus rating in the league at plus-20.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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