Canadiens, Bruins face off for first time in 21 months


Hockey’s biggest rivalry is set to be renewed for the first time in more than a year and a half as the Montreal Canadiens visit the Boston Bruins on Sunday night.

Due to pandemic-altered scheduling, the Canadiens and Bruins did not play last season and are set to face off for the first time since Feb. 12, 2020.

Montreal was unable to build on its momentum from a 4-2 win versus Calgary on Thursday, falling 3-2 in overtime at Detroit on Saturday night.

Ryan Poehling put the Canadiens on top 1-0 just 4:39 into the game. Montreal goalie Sam Montembeault coughed up a pair of second-period goals before Chris Wideman leveled the score 2:33 into the score.

Dylan Larkin beat Montembeault just 1:41 into overtime to hand Montreal to its fourth loss in five games and drop the Canadiens to 4-10-2 on the season.

Montembeault (22 saves) was thrust into a tough position after entering the game late in the first period when starter Jake Allen (eight saves) exited after taking a hit from Larkin.

“It’s not the result that we wanted, but there were definitely some positives,” Wideman said. “It’s a tough situation for Monty to have to go in like that … so he played well.”

With Carey Price still ramping up to return, Montreal called up goaltender Cayden Primeau, who will join the Habs in Boston for an anticipated start against the Bruins. The 22-year-old was 1-2-1 with a .849 save percentage and a 4.16 goals-against average last season.

Boston has alternated losses and wins in each of its last four games.

On Saturday, the Bruins withstood a second-period surge by the Devils to earn a 5-2 win at New Jersey.

Brad Marchand scored twice for his team-leading seventh and eighth goals, Patrice Bergeron added his sixth and both Erika Haula and Jake DeBrusk lit the lamp for Boston.

Marchand’s second goal of the middle period just 6:52 in gave the Bruins a 3-1 advantage before Jeremy Swayman (27 saves) let up a goal in the final minute of the second.

“It was great tonight that we’re able to keep our composure and put a good third period together and separate that lead a little bit,” Marchand said.

The Bruins have alternated goalies in each of their last eight games, meaning Linus Ullmark would be in line to start against the Canadiens on Sunday. Ullmark is 3-3-0 with a .903 save percentage and a 3.01 goals-against average this season.

This will be the 751st meeting in the all-time regular season series between the two Original Six rivals, with Montreal leading 363-274-103-10. However, Boston has won the last three meetings after taking three of their four matchups during the 2019-20 season.

–Field Level Media

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