|Bruins try to push points streak to 16 games vs. Canadiens|
The Boston Bruins will try and extend their points streak to 16 games when they play the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Saturday.
The Bruins (26-10-8) are 11-0-4 in their past 15 games, including a 4-3 shootout win against the Canadiens (19-21-6) a week ago at Bell Centre and a 4-1 win at home against the Canadiens on Wednesday.
The last regulation loss for the Bruins was 5-3 at home to the Washington Capitals Dec. 14.
The Bruins are led by center Patrice Bergeron, who had his second hat trick in his past six games in Boston's 5-2 win against the New York Islanders on Thursday. Bergeron had four goals in a 7-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Jan. 6.
Linemate Brad Marchand said he has been enjoying having a front row seat for Bergeron's outstanding play lately.
"We have a lot of fun. It's been a long time together and a lot of years building that chemistry," Marchand told BostonBruins.com. "But when he's playing the way he is right now, it's just fun to watch. It's fun to be on the ice with him. You know he is going to make a play every time he has the puck. You can't give him enough credit. He's an incredible player."
Bergeron has 278 goals and passed Wayne Cashman (who played with the Bruins from 1964-83) for seventh place on the Bruins all-time list.
"It's not something that I really stop and think about to be honest with you," Bergeron, who has 19 goals this season, said on the team's website. "I had a chance to learn from Cash my first few years. He was a great person. I've heard only great things about him as a player and the way he played the game."
Cashman was an assistant coach with the Bruins for Bergeron's first two seasons.
The Bruins' strong play over the last month has them in second place in the Atlantic Division, five points behind the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning with a game in hand.
The Canadiens ended a three-game losing streak Friday with a 3-2 win at the Washington Capitals. Captain Max Pacioretty had two goals, giving him six in his past six games.
Goaltender Antti Niemi had his first win for the Canadiens since being picked up on waivers Nov. 14 on Friday against the Capitals. Carey Price will the Bruins on Saturday.
It was a big win for the Canadiens after there were questions about their commitment after a listless performance in the loss to the Bruins on Wednesday.
After that game, Montreal coach Claude Julien was asked if the Canadiens had quit against the Bruins.
He gave a pointed answer to NHL.com: "I think those are questions you guys need to ask the players, not the coach. I can't answer for them. It's important for you guys to ask the right people, that's part of your job. My job is to tell you that we weren't good enough tonight and we need to be better, and I think that's my responsibility. I need to get this team to play better, and no matter what they're thinking they need to change their approach, if that's the case."
The Canadiens responded with a solid effort against the Capitals and will be looking to atone for the effort against the Bruins on Saturday.
"It was a much better game. If we look at the big picture, I think we've played five of the last six really good games," Pacioretty told MontrealCanadiens.com. "I know we want to be really upset when we don't show up against Boston and that's a great way to respond as a group.
"Now that we put that effort together, we're able to look at the big picture of the last segment of six games or so and hope to build some confidence off that as a group and string together some wins."