Habs try to slow down streaking Bruins

The Canadiens will try to slow down the sizzling Boston Bruins tonight, as the Original Six rivals meet for a Northeast Division battle at Montreal's Bell Centre.

After posting a 3-7-0 record in October, the Bruins have yet to lose a game in November, rattling off eight straight victories to begin the month. The defending Stanley Cup champions have been an offensive juggernaut during the hot streak, as they Bruins have been held to less than four goals just once over the last eight games.

Boston scored six times in its most recent victory, rolling past the New York Islanders, 6-0, on Saturday at Nassau Coliseum.

Chris Kelly had two goals and an assist for the Bruins in Saturday's road test, as Boston posted its first eight-game winning streak in almost three years. The Bruins hadn't won eight straight since capturing 10 in a row from December 12, 2008 through January 1, 2009.

Patrice Bergeron, Nathan Horton, Andrew Ference and Zdeno Chara also scored for Boston while Tim Thomas had 23 saves for his second shutout of the season.

"The human tendency is to let up and we did a good job of staying with it for most of the game," Thomas said of having a big lead. "There was only a couple of really good chances."

The win over the Isles marked the start of a three-game road trip for the Bruins, who are 3-2-0 as the guest this season.

Boston's last two losses, however, came in a home-and-home sweep at the hands of the Canadiens on Oct. 27 and 29. Montreal notched a 2-1 regulation win in Boston to open that series and then posted a 4-2 decision in the home portion.

Montreal has won three of four and eight of the last 10 meetings against Boston overall and the Bruins have lost five straight at the Bell Centre. The B's haven't won in Montreal since a 3-0 win on Feb. 7, 2010.

The Canadiens were able to end another Eastern Conference team's lengthy winning streak in their last outing, as Montreal disposed of the visiting New York Rangers, 4-0, on Saturday. New York had won seven in a row, but was denied its first eight-game winning streak since the 1974-75 season.

Carey Price stopped 17 shots and Brian Gionta scored twice to lift the Habs to the easy victory over the Blueshirts.

The Canadiens also got goals from Erik Cole and Tomas Plekanec in the victory, their fourth in the last six games. Price recorded his second shutout of the season and the 14th of his career.

"Our awareness in our defensive zone is right on," Price said. "I think what we're doing is that we're keeping the gaps close and not giving them any room."

Canadiens defenseman Hal Gill has missed the last four games with an infection that required a hospital stay, and although he was released from care on Friday, Gill will sit out tonight's test as well.

Fellow blueliner Jaroslav Spacek is also expected to miss his fourth straight game tonight with an upper body injury.

The Canadiens have a poor 4-4-3 record on home ice this year, but Montreal will shoot for a third straight victory at the Bell Centre tonight.