Canadiens complete season series sweep of Bruins

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After losing to the Montreal Canadiens in the second round of the 2014 playoffs, the Boston Bruins couldn’t weren’t able to get revenge at any point during the 2014-15 campaign. Montreal earned a 3-1 victory against Boston tonight to complete their 4-0-0 sweep of the regular season series.

As was the case in the previous two meetings, Carey Price stood tall against the Bruins. He kicked out 34 of 35 shots, frustrating Boston’s shooters all game. It wasn’t until 15:29 of the third period that 18-year-old David Pastrnak just barely beat the Canadiens goaltender by knocking the bouncing puck towards the crease.

That ended Price’s shutout streak against the Bruins at 159:25 minutes, per Boston’s Twitter feed. It gave the Bruins hope in the final minutes of the game, but Boston couldn’t even things. Instead, Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov fired on the empty net with 31 seconds left in regulation time to give Montreal all the insurance it needed.

Max Pacioretty also came up big for the Canadiens tonight with an assist and the game-winning goal on a breakway.

Although the books are closed on the regular season meetings between Boston and Montreal, we might not have to wait much longer to view the next chapter of this rivalry. It’s entirely possible that the Bruins will end up facing the Canadiens in the first round of the playoffs. Of course, for that to happen, Boston needs to hold onto its postseason spot. With a 28-18-7 record, the Bruins have a six-point cushion in the Wild Card race.

WATCH LIVE: Canadiens at Bruins (7:30 p.m. ET)

The Boston Bruins have been on fire lately with a 9-2-1 record, but that hasn’t been enough to undo all the damage from their early season struggles. They currently hold the second Wild Card spot and have a long climb ahead of them if they want to secure the home ice advantage in the first round. Of more immediate concern though is the fact that their playoff spot is far from guaranteed.

So the stakes are high for the Bruins as they go into this rivalry game against the Montreal Canadiens. Even if they weren’t though, this would be a contest that the Bruins would desperately love to win. Montreal has already beaten Boston three times this season and this is the Bruins’ last chance to avoid the series sweep.

The contest will start at 7:30 p.m. ET and can be viewed on NBCSN. You can also stream it on to NBC Sports Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Here are some related links:

Price protection? Therrien says running over goalies ‘has to stop’

Bruins’ second D pair of Seidenberg-McQuaid is an issue

NHL on NBCSN: The Bruins look to avoid a fourth straight loss vs. Montreal

NHL on NBCSN: The Bruins look to avoid a fourth straight loss vs. Montreal

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign when the Boston Bruins host the Montreal Canadiens at the TD Garden at 7:30 p.m. ET tonight.

The Montreal Canadiens will look for a sweep of the four-game season series as they visit the Boston Bruins tonight.

The Habs have out-scored the Bruins 13-5 in the three meetings this season.

It would be the Canadiens first season series sweep since they won all eight meetings during the 2007-08 season.

Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher has two goals and four assists while Max Pacioretty has three goals and two assists against Boston this season. Bruins’ forward Loui Eriksson has a goal and two assists against the Habs.

There’s a chance Sunday’s game will feature a meeting of the Subban brothers. Habs defenseman P.K. Subban could face younger brother, and Bruins’ goaltender, Malcolm Subban.

Malcolm Subban has yet to make his NHL debut, but with the Bruins in the second of a back-to-back and Tuukka Rask playing Saturday night, the 21-year-old could see the net Sunday.

Rask has started each end of back-to-back games four out of nine times this season. He made 39 saves in Saturday’s win. Rask is 3-12-3 with a 2.81 G.A.A. in 18 career regular-season starts against the Canadiens.

Subban is 9-10-2 in 22 AHL games with Providence this season while posting a 2.47 G.A.A. and a .921 save percentage.

The Canadiens snapped a two-game skid with a 6-2 win over the New Jersey Devils Saturday night. David Desharnais had three assists in the win. He now has a goal and five helpers in his past three games.

Carey Price made 21 saves in Saturday’s win. Its unclear who will start for the Habs Sunday. Dustin Tokarski has faced Boston once back in 2012.

Boston enters the game six points back of Montreal in the Atlantic Division standings. The Bruins are 8-1-3 in their last 12 home games and have won three of four overall.

So, Rob Gronkowski spiked a Bruins ceremonial puck into the crowd

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Dull moments are rare when it comes to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, so why would the normally bland practice of the ceremonial first puck drop be any different?

He put a very “Gronk” spin on the practice Saturday, as he spiked a puck into the crowd before the Boston Bruins took on the New York Islanders.

Gronk’s gonna Gronk.

Update: Apparently he’s going to chow down on some pizza, too.

The Bruins ended up narrowly winning this one 2-1.

Bruins’ second D pair of Seidenberg-McQuaid is an issue

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From CSN New England’s Joe Haggerty, writing about the Bruins’ 3-2 loss to the Rangers last night:

The soft spot in the B’s defense picked on Wednesday night was the pairing of Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid. The duo relies on rugged physicality to make up for a lack of foot speed as Boston’s middle defensive pairing, but it wasn’t working vs. the Rangers as they finished minus-2 in the loss, and were routinely on their heels vs. speedy Rangers forwards like Nash, Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin among others.

McQuaid, of course, has been asked to do a lot more since Johnny Boychuk was traded to the Islanders. The 28-year-old has been playing 18 or 19 minutes a game this season, whereas he averaged 13:02 during the 2011 playoffs and 14:47 in the 2013 postseason.

This isn’t meant to pick on McQuaid. He’s just no Boychuk. The Kings are experiencing similar issues without Slava Voynov playing the right side on the second pair, with Alec Martinez being asked to do more.

And just like that’s a challenge for GM Dean Lombardi in Los Angeles, it’s a challenge for Peter Chiarelli in Boston. The Bruins don’t have a ton of cap space; that’s why they traded Boychuk in the first place. And they’ll be hesitant to give up significant assets for a rental (like, say, Cody Franson) they may not be able to re-sign.