Canadiens say focus on game, not Bruins

- By Mike Brehm

The Boston Bruins andMontrea­l Canadiens have met in 710 regular-season games during their long histories, and their last two meetings have been eventful.

The teams play tonight for the first time since Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty was injured March 8 when he was checked into the edge of a glass partition near the bench. Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara received no suspension for the hit, which left Pacioretty with a concussion and fractured neck vertebra.

That game followed a fight-filled match Feb. 9. There were six fights in Boston’s 8-6 victory, including a short one between goal- tenders Tim Thomas and Carey Price.

But one thing that could prevent a repeat of the emotions of those two games is the standings. The Canadiens trail the Bruins by three points in the Northeast Division and have played two more games.

If they lose in the final regular-season meeting of the season, the Canadiens could lose a chance at home-ice advantage in the playoffs. That’s why Montreal players were talking about getting a win, not revenge. The Canadiens have won four of the first five meetings this season.

“This is when the older guys and the vets have to make sure the younger guys know you have to keep your emotions in check,” Canadiens forward Scott Gomez told the team’s website. “You don’t want to get a penalty that’s going to cost the team. What’s done is done. The best revenge is to get two points, and that’s all we’re going for.”

If the season ended today, the Bruins and Canadiens would play in the first round.

Around the rinks:

Former New York Islanders coach Scott Gordon will be behind the U.S. bench at the April 29-May 15 world championsh­ips. He was coach of last year’s 13th-place team and was an assistant for the 2010 silver-medal U.S. Olympic team. Players will be chosen by a panel of general managers, including Brian Burke, David Poile andDale Tallon. . . . The AnaheimDuc­ks activated goalie Jonas Hiller (vertigo).

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