Sizzling Bruins top Canadiens in shootout

Canadiens home underdogs facing the Bruins on Saturday night

Montreal Canadiens forward Phillip Danault was taken to hospital on Saturday after being hit in the head by a slapshot from the Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara at the Bell Centre Arena.

Danault went down with 1:37 left in the second period, and the teams were sent to the locker room after he left the ice.

The Bruins have played far better hockey this season than the Canadiens have - a change of pace from how most of the past few seasons have gone - and their next two matchups will be key for both teams.

Chara and other players from both teams gathered around Danault as he was attended by medical staff.

"You never want to see that", said Julien.

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Even when the B's stormed back with goals from Brad Marchand and Jake DeBrusk, an unassisted goal from Montreal's Nicolas Deslauriers and a power-play marker from Alex Galchenyuk just 3:06 apart in the second period brought you back down.

"You have to go back and regain that focus", Patrice Bergeron said about the aftermath of the scary moment involving Danault.

The Canadiens issued a statement during the third period that said: "Danault suffered a head injury".

The Canadiens won two games in a row heading into their five-game break, 2-1 in a shootout against the NHL-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on January 4 and 5-2 against the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday.

"There's no doubt it's a special thing because I spent a lot of great years in (Boston) with an organization that treated me extremely well and I'm showing a lot of gratitude towards them for that", Julien said before the game Saturday. The last news we had he was in hospital getting treatment and he was doing fine. "He was talking to me and responding so that made me feel better that he's OK and he's not in a condition where he's not responding".

Areas of fog, mountain snow
Temperatures will once again top out above normal with highs in the middle and upper 30's. Our next chance of precipitation comes Saturday night into Sunday morning (next weekend).

The Bruins (23-10-7) and the Canadiens (18-20-4) are playing their first games after their league-mandated five-day break.

Rookie defenseman Victor Mete, who won a gold medal with Canada at the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship in Buffalo, practice with the Canadiens on Friday (he was paired up with veteran David Schlemko and appeared to be part of the top six) and Julien said he will play. If they lose again to the Bruins next week, then there's no escaping the truth.

Boston took the lead at 2:55 in the second, as McAvoy found DeBrusk slipping past Montreal's defensemen and helped generate a breakaway chance. Eight of the Canadiens 11 games in January are at home where the Canadiens are 11-8-3 this season.

The Bruins will resume play on Monday, with the team set to host the Dallas Stars at TD Garden for a 1 p.m. matchup.

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