Thursday, November 5, 2009

Struggling rivals meet for first time this season


Last season the Boston Bruins steamrolled past the Montreal Canadiens in the regular season, and in the playoffs.

That was a different team that the black and gold faced last year.

In 2009-10, many new of the Bruins opponents are on other teams and new faces have taken their place.

For Boston, the notable missing face is Phil Kessel, who was traded to the Leafs.

The two rivals will meet for the first time tonight, since the Bruins sweep of the Canadiens last spring.

Both teams are struggling to start the season (Canadiens 10th, Bruins 12th) and suffering the injury bug.

The Bruins are without Marc Savard, Milan Lucic, and the latest victim of the swine flu, David Krejci. It certainly is showing as the Bruins rank 27th in goals so far this season.

The Canadiens, in the meantime, have brought up Tom Pyatt and Ryan White from the Hamilton Bulldogs. Both will play on the fourth line with Andrei Kostitsyn, and will be making their NHL debuts.

White was drafted by Montreal in the 3rd round in 2006, while Pyatt came over in the Scott Gomez-Chris Higgins deal with the New York Rangers.

“I was so happy I got that call yesterday,” said Pyatt. “It’s a great opportunity for both of us.”

“I just try to work hard and play hard,” White added. “I hope I can bring a little work ethic and energy and try to help these guys out.”

In eleven games in Hamilton, Pyatt had nine points (6 goals) and Wyatt had seven points.

Canadiens coach Jacques Martin will use both rookies on the penalty kill as well.

Carey Price will get the start for Montreal.

Jaroslav Halak is not 100 percent, according to head Martin, and has a suspected groin pull.

Tim Thomas will between the pipes for the Bruins. His backup, Tuuka Rask received a two-year contract extension on Thursday afternoon.

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