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Bartlett: Canadiens start six-game road trip in Boston

John Bartlett
12/19/2011 2:39:29 PM
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BOSTON - After a wild Saturday which saw the Canadiens make a coaching change, followed by a disheartening 5-3 loss the Devils and a closed door team meeting, the Habs hit the road for the next six games starting tonight against the Bruins in Boston.
 
Despite their ups and downs this year, the Canadiens have seemed to be a team that rises to the occasion and plays better against tough opponents, and Boston always brings out the best in the rivalry. The Bruins are 9-2 against the Northeast Division this year, but both losses have come against the Canadiens.
 
Randy Cunneyworth will have a few game-time decisions to make for tonight, as P.K. Subban has the flu and did not take the morning skate. Raphael Diaz is ready to return from his flu and may play tonight. Travis Moen will be back in the line-up, which has allowed Cunneyworth to make some changes up front with 12 forwards, and try to spark some offence.
 
The most notable change is re-uniting Andrei Kostitsyn and Lars Eller. They will play alongside rookie Louis Leblanc. Kostitsyn has had his best production this year when paired with Eller. In the 12 games Kostitsyn had Eller as his centre to start a game, he has seven goals and 10 points. Compare that with the 11 games he was away from Eller, and his production drops to two goals and four points. Kostitsyn is ranked ninth in NHL shooting percentage where he has scored on 20% of his shots.
 
Tomas Kaberle continues on his roll, where his 6-game point streak has produced nine points. The Canadiens have also scored a power play goal in every game since his arrival.
 
Look for Carey Price and Tim Thomas in goal tonight.
 
Tonight's Forward Lines:
 
Pacioretty - Desharnais - Cole
Cammalleri - Plekanec - Moen
Leblanc - Eller - Kostitsyn
Blunden - Nokelainen - Darche
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