The Canadiens fired head coach Jacques Martin on Saturday and replaced him with Cunneyworth, who was behind the bench later that night for a 5-3 home loss to New Jersey. The setback dropped Montreal to 13-13-7 on the season and the Habs are last in the Northeast with 33 points -- 10 behind the division-leading Bruins.
Cunneyworth's troops could have a difficult time against the Bruins tonight, as the defending Stanley Cup champions have won four straight, eight of 10 and 18 of their last 21 games. Boston last played on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia and blasted the Atlantic Division-leading Flyers by a 6-0 score.
However, Montreal is 2-1 against the Bruins this year, as the Habs won the first two encounters before dropping a 1-0 decision when the clubs last met on Nov. 21 in Quebec. The Canadiens have taken eight of the last 11 regular-season meetings in this series and have five wins in their previous seven trips to Beantown.
The Canadiens were dealt a 5-3 loss by the Devils on Saturday and ended a three-game homestand with a 1-2-0 record. Montreal is kicking off a six-game road trip tonight and is 8-6-1 as the guest this year compared to a 5-7-6 mark at the Bell Centre.
Chris Campoli, P.K. Subban and Lars Eller all scored for Montreal, while Carey Price allowed all five goals on 35 shots. The Canadiens led the game, 3-2, around the midway point of the second period, but New Jersey scored three unanswered goals to skate away with the win.
"We went out and did a lot of good things early on," said Subban. "We got ourselves the lead, but we took a few too many penalties. Eventually with the power play they have, they're going to find something, which they did."
Montreal forwards Brian Gionta (lower body) and Scott Gomez (groin) and defenseman Andrei Markov (knee) are currently on injured reserve and winger Travis Moen has sat out the last two tilts with a foot problem. Moen, who is tied for fourth on the team with eight goals, is doubtful for this evening's tilt.
The Bruins were able to exact revenge on the Flyers Saturday, as six different players scored for Boston in a resounding 6-0 road victory.
Philadelphia had spoiled the Bruins' opening-night raising of their Stanley Cup banner, defeating Boston 2-1 on Oct. 6. Boston returned the favor by snapping Philadelphia's winning streak at seven games behind a four-goal first period and Tim Thomas' fourth shutout of the season.
"We had a well rounded game today," said Thomas, who made 31 saves. "We had all types of situations, power plays, penalty kills and even strength. We scored on the power play and we started out the game with a big goal, which helped put the momentum in our favor. Then, every time there was an opportunity for them to get back in the game, with a penalty or something, we came up big on the penalty kill."
Boston has 19 goals during its four-game winning streak and the B's are now tied with Philadelphia atop the Eastern Conference with 43 points.
The Bruins are playing the first of two straight on home ice tonight and will also welcome Florida on Friday. Boston is 11-6-1 as the host this year.
Boston's Gregory Campbell will likely miss a fourth straight game tonight with a broken left foot.