Pre-game Notes and Quotes
  • Mike Condon, who hails from Holliston, MA, had this to say about returning to his home state and starting in the Winter Classic: “It’s an honor for me to go out there. Just at the end of the day, it’s another game, another two points. Any time you get the nod, you just want to help your team get the best chance they can to win,”
  • Patrice Bergeron: “I think it’s about playing your game and not trying to do too much and trying to be somebody you’re not. If you’re playing at your best, and we all do that, I think the guys that are stepping up to replace David and Brad are good enough players and great players to do the job, and that’s how we have to approach it. Go out there [Friday] with the guys that we have and believe in ourselves and do the job.”
  • Bruins’ Captain Zdeno Chara: “I mean, it’s obviously one of the highlights of the season for the whole League, so it’s a privilege and honor to be playing in this game, again, it’s one of those experiences you will always treasure and remember. But at the end of the day, it’s business as usual.”
  • Canadiens’ Captain Max Pacioretty: “It could change a lot. Everyone’s seen our division and how tight it is. Every night we’re looking at scores, and you can go from first place to out of a playoff spot almost with two points. So, I think that first and foremost, where we have to concentrate is the two points. They’re having a lot of cameras and there’s been a lot of buzz about this game. I think if we can pull out a good game and get the victory, I think it could be a good jumpstart for things to come,”
  • Brad Marchand is the leading goal scorer for the Bruins (with 15 goals), and is fourth on the team in points (with 26). Unfortunately for the Bruins, he will unable to play on Friday night as he is currently serving a three game suspension.
  • David Krejci, who’s 33 points is currently tied for second on the Bruins, will also miss the game with an upper-body injury. He is currently listed as week-to-week.
  • The Canadiens will get their top right winger, Brendan Gallagher, back in the folds for the Winter Classic. The 23-year old had 19 points (9 goals and 10 assists) in 22 games before two broken fingers forced him out of action.
  • While the Canadiens have a 17-6-3 record versus teams in the Eastern Conference this season, the  Bruins  boast a 15-6-1 record against teams from the East.
  • The Canadiens have dropped down in the goals against category, they are currently in a tie for 13th in the league in goals against, with 98 in 39 games. The Bruins’ defensive game has been just a tad bit better, as they have allowed 97 goals against in their first 36 games and are in a tie for 11th in the league.
  • The Canadiens have surprisingly maintained their standing in the goals for category as they are currently in a tie for fifth place in the NHL, with 111 over their first 39 games. The Bruins have been absolutely amazing in the same category, as they sit in third in the NHL with 115 goals.
Matchup 
Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA. | January 1, 1:00 PM ET | TV: NBC, TVA Sports, Sportsnet

2015-16 statistics

BRUINS CANADIENS
44 (6th) Points (Eastern Con. rank) 45 (5th)
20-12-4 Record 21-15-3
9-9-2 Home 11-6-2
11-3-2 Road 10-9-1
6-3-1 Last 10 2-8-0
3.14 G/G 2.80
2.67 GA/G 2.49
29.4 PP% 19.4
81.9 PK% 84.5
 49.9  CF%*  53.2
53.9 CF60*  56.2
54.0 CA60* 49.4
*Advanced statistics: Score adjusted, even strength. CF%: Corsi for percentage of total  CF60: Corsi For/60 minutes  CA60: Corsi Against/60 minutes (via War on Ice)
Projected forward lines, defense pairings and goaltenders
Forwards
Eriksson – Bergeron – Griffith
Beleskey – Ferraro – Connolly
Vatrano – Ferraro – Khokhlachev
Rinaldo – Talbot – Hayes
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher
Eller – Galchenyuk – Carr
Fleischmann – Plekanec – Weise
Byron – Mitchell – Flynn
Expected scratches: Smith-Pelly
Defensemen
Chara – Seidenberg
Krug – McQuaid
Morrow – Miller
Beaulieu – Subban
Markov – Petry
Emelin – Barberio
Expected scratches: Pateryn, Tinordi
Goalies
Tuukka Rask (Confirmed) Mike Condon (Confirmed)
2015-’16 regular season:
Record: 14-9-3
GAA: 2.41
Sv%: .918
SO: 4
Alternate: Jonas Gustavsson
2015-’16 regular season:
Record: 10-9-3
GAA: 2.48
Sv%: .904
SO: 0
Alternate: Ben Scrivens
Fantasy Outlook
  • Note: Since the NHL began having regular season games outdoors, the visiting team has a 11-3-1 record. Montreal has an overall record of 1-1 in outdoor games (with a goal differential of minus-3), while Boston has a 1-0 record and a goal differential of plus-1. While none of the Canadiens who scored a point for Montreal back in the 2003 Heritage Classic are on the current roster (they failed to score a goal against Calgary in the Heritage Classic of 2011), the Bruins had points from Patrice Bergeron (1 assist) and Zdeno Chara (1 assist) in their only outdoor game appearance in 2010.
  • Brendan Gallagher is making his much anticipated return to the Canadiens’ roster today. The Canadiens have struggled mightily, with a 5-11-1 record, since he was forced out of action on November 22. Normally, players returning from lengthy injury aren’t a great options to start, but Gallagher is starting on the top line and has produced admirably against the Bruins in the past. In 14 games against the Bruins, Gallagher has a total of 15 points (3 goals and 12 assists), is a +10, has 15 hits and 34 SOG. Not to mention he also had 9 points in 7 games before getting hurt versus the Islanders back in November. With only two games on the schedule for Friday night, Gallagher is a must start in all formats.
  • Top scorers for the Bruins at home this season are:
  1. Loui Eriksson (with 22 points in 20 games).
  2. Patrice Bergeron (with 21 points in 20 games)
  3. David Krejci* (with 20 points in 19 games)
  • Top scorers for the Canadiens on the road this season are:
  1. Andrei Markov, Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk and P. K. Subban (all with 15 points in 20 games)
  2. Tomas Plekanec (with 14 points in 20 games)

Player stats from War-on-Ice, NHL.com and Yahoo Sports.

Recap: Canadiens vs Panthers (December 29) – Click for Game report, 3-stars, Post-game quotes

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