The Montreal Canadiens (7-24-4, 18 pts) will try to rebound from a 5-1 loss to the Boston Bruins Wednesday night when they play the tail end of a back-to-back against the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center in Chicago (RDS, TSN2).
The Canadiens will be trying to snap a four-game skid overall and win their first game on the road since a 6-3 win over the Penguins in Pittsburgh on November 27. The Habs have now lost six straight games on the road and they’re about to play the second of a seven-game road trip.
As if things weren’t bleak enough for the Montreal Canadiens, they will now be without goalie Jake Allen, at least for this game, and maybe more, after Allen left in the first period of the loss to the Bruins Wednesday with an undisclosed injury. As a result, goalie Cayden Primeau was recalled from the Laval Rocket.
The last time the Montreal Canadiens and the Chicago Blackhawks hooked up, the game wound down with the Bell Centre crowd chanting “Fleury! Fleury!” as Quebec native and Blackhawks goalie Marc-Andre Fleury earned his 500th win and 69th shutout in a 2-0 win for the visitors.
Fleury will be between the pipes again tonight for the Blackhawks but it is yet to be determined who will start for the Montreal Canadiens.
Let’s face it unless the Montreal Canadiens decide to play with some more pride, they essentially could go 0-7-0 on this current road trip. Having to fly in late from Boston, while the Blackhawks waited and slept in their own beds last night gives them an even bigger edge over a listless Habs team. That being said, you won’t get much value taking the Blackhawks money line (-245) in this game. You can however still get even money on the Blackhawks (-1.5) puck line and that, along with the Blackhawks team total OVER 3.5 (+105) are the plays here.
Prediction: Blackhawks 4 Canadiens 2
Montreal Canadiens Notes
-Dominique Ducharme told the media just prior to game time that Allen could be out for a week and that Cedric Paquette won’t play again due to his nagging injury.
-Montreal Canadiens defenseman Chris Wideman was suspended one game for this headbutt on Boston Bruins forward Erik Haula on Wednesday:
-Michael Pezzetta scored the lone Canadiens goal on Wednesday and will now try to score a goal against another team other than the Bruins, as his two NHL goals are against the B’s.
-In addition to Allen and Paquette, forwards Josh Anderson (upper-body), Tyler Toffoli (hand), Paul Byron (COVID), Brendan Gallagher (lower-body), Joel Edmundson (Personal, COVID), Carey Price (torn meniscus), and Shea Weber, essentially retired after offseason foot surgery are all out. Ducharme did say that Byron should be cleared to play by vSaturday and can join the Habs Monday in Arizona.
-Habs center Nick Suzuki leads the team in points with 19. He is tied for the team lead in goals (7) with Anderson and for the team lead in assists (12).
Chicago Blackhawks Notes
-Blackhawks star winger Patrick Kane extended his point streak to five games with an assist in a 4-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. Kane has seven assists during that span and leads the team in assists with 25 helpers and in points with 32.
-Alex DeBrincat had two goals Tuesday and now leads the Blackhawks in goals with 23 lamplighters.
-Fleury is 11-11-2 with a 2.88 GAA and .910 save percentage.
Montreal Canadiens Lines:
Mike Hoffman-Nick Suzuki-Jake Evans
Rem Pitlick-Christian Dvorak-Jonathan Drouin
Artturi Lehkonen-Ryan Poehling-Cole Caufield
Michael Pezzetta-Laurent Dauphin-Joel Armia
Ben Chiarot-David Savard
Brett Kulak-Jeff Petry
Alexander Romanov-Corey Schueneman
Chicago Blackhawks Lines
Alex DeBrincat – Jonathan Toews – Brett Connolly
Dominik Kubalik – Lukas Reichel – Patrick Kane
Mackenzie Entwistle – Philipp Kurashev – Kirby Dach
Jujhar Khaira – Henrik Borgstrom – Ryan Carpenter
Calvin de Haan – Ian Mitchell
Caleb Jones – Connor Murphy
Jakub Galvas – Riley Stillman