Bruins-Canadiens: A rivalry by the numbers
Wednesday, 02.06.2013 / 1:15 PM
It's fitting that the NHL's longest-running feud begins its latest chapter on Wednesday Night Rivalry.
No two Eastern Conference teams have played each other more often in the regular season than the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins. They'll meet Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS), for the 718th time in a series that has seen the Canadiens win 345 games and the Bruins go home happy 269 times (the other 103 ended in ties before the adoption of the shootout in 2005). The teams have also squared off in 33 playoff series, far more than any other two teams in League history, and they've battled in an NHL-record eight Game 7s.
Regardless of who's in the lineup or where the game is being played, these two teams don't like each other. Here's a statistical look at two teams who've been battling since their first meeting on Dec. 8, 1924.
All-time series: Though the Bruins won two of their three visits to the Bell Centre last season, Montreal has never been a friendly stopover for them. The Canadiens have an all-time record of 207-101-47-3 against the Bruins in Montreal. However, the Bruins have fared a little better in recent years -- they've won six of their last 11 visits. They've also done better since the Canadiens moved into the Bell Centre in 1996, going 16-25-2-3 in the new building after posting an 88-179-45 mark at the Forum.
Togetherness: Since 1938-39, Montreal and Boston have been in the same division or conference for all but a seven-year stretch from 1974-75 through 1980-81. Beginning in 1981-82, Montreal, Boston and Buffalo have been together.
Tiebreakers: Since the adoption of the shootout in 2005, the Canadiens and Bruins have gone to the tiebreaker six times. The Canadiens have won four of those six games. They've split four shootouts in Montreal -- the most recent of which was Boston's 4-3 win Feb. 15, which was also the last time the teams met. Eight other meetings have gone to overtime under the current setup in which a team losing in OT gets one point; the Bruins have won five of those games, meaning that they've split the last 14 contests that have gone beyond regulation.
Firing blanks: The Canadiens have gone five seasons between shutouts against Boston -- the last one was a 2-0 victory at Montreal on April 3, 2007. The last three shutouts in the series belong to the Bruins, including a 1-0 victory at Montreal on Nov. 21, 2011.
Streaks: The Bruins have never won more than nine consecutive games against Montreal. They accomplished that feat in 1941 and 1942, then tacked on a pair of ties for an 11-game unbeaten streak. The Canadiens have had a couple of double-figure winning streaks against Boston, most recently in 2007 and 2008, when they won 12 in a row. They had nine straight wins and 12 games without a loss to Boston from 1977-79.
The Canadiens have been even more dominant in stretches at home. They went 14-0-1 against Boston from 1959-61 as part of a 26-game stretch in which they went 22-1-3 against the Bruins at the Forum during a span of five seasons. Montreal also won 14 straight at home against Boston from 1977-82.