NHL On Tap: Canadiens, Bruins renew rivalry

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Welcome to the NHL On Tap. Three NHL.com writers will share what they are most looking forward to on the schedule each day. Today, their choices from the six games Sunday.

 

Canadiens, Bruins renew rivalry

How nice will it be to see the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins sharing the same ice surface for the first time since Feb. 12, 2020, when the Bruins won 4-1 in Boston? The teams were in separate divisions and did not play one another last season because of intra-division play necessitated by concerns surrounding the coronavirus. They will face off for the 751st time in NHL regular-season history at TD Garden on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; NESN, TSN2, RDS, ESPN+, NHL LIVE), resuming one of the best rivalries not just in the NHL, but all sports. The Bruins (7-5-0) are coming off a 5-2 victory against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday and are looking to get on a roll. They have won consecutive games once this season, Oct. 22 (4-1 against the Buffalo Sabres) and Oct. 24 (4-3 vs. the San Jose Sharks). The Canadiens (4-10-2) lost to the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 in overtime Saturday and have points in three straight games (1-0-2). — Shawn P. Roarke, senior director of editorial

 

Rangers roll into home game against Devils

The New York Rangers are hoping for similar success they enjoyed against the New Jersey Devils last season, when they were 6-2-0 and outscored them 35-19, beginning Sunday at Madison Square Garden (7 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). New York (8-3-3) seeks its third straight win after a 5-3 victory at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, when Chris Kreider, Artemi Panarin and Jacob Trouba scored the quickest three goals by the Rangers (1:03) since Kevin Lowe, Tony Amonte and Adam Graves scored within one minute in a 4-2 win at the Florida Panthers on Nov. 16, 1993. The Devils (7-4-2) proved up for the challenge of a three-game homestand against the Panthers, New York Islanders and Boston Bruins, going 2-1-0 without injured forwards Jack Hughes (shoulder) and Miles Wood (hip). Forward Dawson Mercer is third in rookie scoring with 10 points (five goals, five assists) and his three multipoint games are tied with Red Wings forward Lucas Raymond for most by a first-year player this season. — Jon Lane, staff writer

 

Ducks seek seventh straight win

The last time I did one of these I highlighted the Los Angeles Kings when they were on a six-game winning streak. I’ll stick with the Pacific Division and the Anaheim Ducks (8-4-3), who are on a six-game run entering their game against the Vancouver Canucks (5-8-2) at Honda Center (8 p.m. ET; BSW, SNP, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). The Ducks are second in the Pacific, one point behind the Edmonton Oilers. Forward Troy Terry has the longest active point streak in the NHL at 13 games (19 points; 11 goals, eight assists). Goalie John Gibson has been his reliable self, going 7-2-2 with a 2.49 goals-against average, .921 save percentage and one shutout in 11 games. Can the Ducks keep it going? I’ll tune in Sunday to find out. — Tracey Myers, staff writer

 

Sunday schedule

Calgary Flames at Ottawa Senators (5 p.m. ET; TVAS, TSN5, SNW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

The Flames are 0-2-1 and have scored four goals since a 7-1-3 start. The depleted Senators were 0-5-1 before a 6-3 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. They have nine players in NHL COVID-19 protocol: goalie Matt Murray, defensemen Nikita Zaitsev, Josh Brown, Victor Mete and Nick Holden, and forwards Austin Watson, Connor Brown, Dylan Gambrell and Alex Formenton. Defenseman Erik Brannstrom has a broken hand and will be out at least 6-8 weeks.

Edmonton Oilers at St. Louis Blues (7 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, SNW, SSMW, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl of the Oilers are the top two scorers in the NHL, but face a big challenge against Blues goalie Jordan Binnington, who is 6-2-2 with a .922 save percentage. Draisaitl leads the NHL with 28 points (14 goals, 14 assists) and McDavid, who has scored in each of his 13 games this season, has 25 (nine goals, 16 assists). The Blues return home after a 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday. 

Montreal Canadiens at Boston Bruins (7 p.m. ET; NESN, TSN2, RDS, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Brad Marchand scored two goals Saturday and has a six-game point streak (four goals, six assists). He leads the Bruins (7-5-2) in goals (eight) and points (16). Defenseman Charlie McAvoy had three assists and has scored multiple points in three of his past five games. Canadiens goalie Jake Allen was injured in the loss to the Red Wings on Saturday. Sam Montembeault made 22 saves after replacing Allen and Cayden Primeau has been recalled from Laval of the American Hockey League.

New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers (7 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG+, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Goalie Mackenzie Blackwood is expected to start for the Devils after Jonathan Bernier made 31 saves in a 5-2 loss to the Bruins on Saturday. Blackwood made 42 saves in a 4-0 win against the New York Islanders on Nov. 11, his third shutout with at least 40 saves to pass Martin Brodeur for the most in team history. Chris Kreider’s 11 goals are third in the NHL behind Draisaitl (14) and Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (12), and his NHL-high seven power-play goals are the most by a Rangers skater though 14 games since Brendan Shanahan scored seven in 2006-07.

Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. ET (NBCSWA, ATTSN-PT, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

Sidney Crosby could play after being in NHL COVID-19 protocol for the Penguins (5-4-4), who are 2-1-2 in their past five games. The Capitals (7-2-4) have won three in a row. Ovechkin scored his 742nd goal Friday to pass Brett Hull for fourth in NHL history.  

Vancouver Canucks at Anaheim Ducks, 8 p.m. ET (BSW, SNP, ESPN+, NHL LIVE)

This is the first of a three-game homestand for the Ducks, who haven’t lost since the Winnipeg Jets defeated them 4-3 on Oct. 26. The Canucks are 3-6-1 in their past 10 games and have allowed seven goals in each of their past two.

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