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Canadiens-Bruins Preview

By NICOLINO DIBENEDETTO

STATS Writer

(AP) -- The Boston Bruins have put together their longest winning streak in 43 years thanks in large part to Jarome Iginla.

Iginla looks to continue his impressive scoring barrage as the Bruins look to move closer to entering the record books Monday night in an Original Six matchup against the Montreal Canadiens.

Boston (49-17-5) is tied with Western Conference-leading St. Louis for the most points in the NHL at 103, and the Bruins have become a contender in the race for the Presidents' Trophy due to their 12-game winning streak.

The Bruins have outscored opponents 47-17 during that run, which is one win shy of matching their 13-game run in 1970-71. They're only two wins short of the franchise-record 14-game winning streak set in 1929-30.

Iginla is a big reason why Boston is approaching that mark. The star right wing has 15 goals and 14 assists during the Bruins' 18-2-2 run, matching his point total after he had 13 and 16 over the first 49 games of the season.

Iginla's has been superb during the current winning streak, scoring 11 goals, with eight coming in the past six games.

"Honestly, it just feels really good as a team," Iginla told the team's official website. "It's been fun. We go into each game, try to have the same approach."

Iginla found the net twice in the Bruins' three-goal third period, as they rallied for a 4-2 win at Phoenix on Saturday.

"I think we all look for (these) kind of games right now - we don't want any easy games," coach Claude Julien said. "We want to get better as a team, and those kind of games allow you to do that, ... it showed a lot of our character.

"We needed to show a lot of character there in the third to come back and win that, and we did."

Boston could use another strong effort from Iginla, but he's been limited to one assist in three season meetings with Montreal (39-26-7). However, that came in a 4-1 road win March 12, when Tuukka Rask made 35 saves.

Rask, though, is 3-10-2 with a 2.75 goals-against average in 16 career meetings with the Canadiens, and he's lost all seven (0-5-2) at home with a 3.76 GAA.

He'll likely get a chance to end that skid and extend his personal winning streak to eight games. He has a 1.55 GAA while winning seven games in a row, including three straight at home while stopping 70 of 72 shots.

The Bruins have lost three straight home meetings with Montreal, including a 4-1 defeat Jan. 30.

While Boston has already clinched a spot in the playoffs, the Canadiens are third in the Atlantic Division, one point behind second-place Tampa Bay, which hosts Ottawa.

Montreal has won four of five after Tomas Plekanec scored the decisive goal midway through the third period of a 4-3 win at Toronto.

"That was definitely a test of character," Carey Price said after making 33 saves. "When a team scores in the third period to tie it up, when they're at home, you're on the road, they grab a lot of momentum. ... Being able to grab the lead and then hold it with a good team effort like that is, I think, rewarding."

Price, who will likely get the nod in net, has won six of seven starts with a 2.30 goals-against average. He's won his last two meetings with the Bruins, making 58 of 60 saves.

Plekanec has 10 points in his last nine regular-season visits to Boston.

Updated March 24, 2014

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