The Montreal Canadiens' home-and-home sweep of their archrivals last month earned them a measure of redemption for their heartbreaking playoff exit and left the reigning Stanley Cup champions humbled following seven defeats in their first 10 games.
The Boston Bruins will bring a bit more confidence to the Bell Centre this time.
Unbeaten since their last trip to Montreal, the Bruins put an eight-game winning streak on the line Monday night, with their red-hot offense likely to face a goaltender who has been equally impressive lately.
Both of these clubs, which staged a riveting first-round series last spring finally won by Boston in overtime of Game 7, got off to rocky starts in 2011-12.
The Canadiens (9-8-3) were 2-5-2 when they visited the Bruins on Oct. 27, but their 2-1 win that night - followed by a 4-2 home victory 48 hours later - helped steady their season.
"I think our guys are pretty confident again," goalie Carey Price said after the sweep. "I think that's all it took...