The Montreal Canadiens (8-25-7, 23 pts), will try to extend their point streak to four games when they conclude their seven-game road trip against the Minnesota Wild (24-10-3, 51 points), at the Xcel Center in St. Paul, Minnesota on Monday night (8 PM ET, SN, RDS, BSN, BSWI).
The Montreal Canadiens have actually played arguably their best hockey of the season in their last three games going 1-0-2 forcing overtime in their last two games against legit Stanley Cup contenders. They lost 4-3 in overtime to the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday and then after trailing 2-0 midway through the second period Saturday, lost 3-2 to the Colorado Avalanche in the extra frame. They’re now 0-7 in overtime this season but that is going to change tonight.
As I mentioned on The Ice Guys Monday, the Montreal Canadiens have been building momentum as they get veterans and regulars into the lineup. They’re knocking on the door to get their second win in five games and to break their winless streak in overtime. Tonight they break down the door and upset the Minnesota Wild to close out their seven-game road trip.
I’m on the Montreal Canadiens ML at +285, the DRAW at +380, and the Habs money line in the first period at +215.
Prediction: Canadiens 3 Wild 2 (OT)
Montreal Canadiens Notes
-Montreal Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki is rolling. The Habs 22-year-old center had a goal and an assist in the loss to the Avs Saturday and now has a goal and four assists in his last three games. Suzuki leads the team in goals (8), assists (16) and points with 24.
-Since returning Jan. 18, forward Tyler Toffoli has two goals and two assists.
-After two amazing performances from Sam Montembeault (97 saves on 104 shots), the Montreal Canadiens found out they had lost another goalie to injury as Montembeault was forced to return to Montreal for tests on an injured hand Saturday. Cayden Primeau got the chance at redemption for letting in four goals on 16 shots and being pulled after two periods a week ago in a 5-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes and he didn’t disappoint. Primeau made 43 saves against the Avs and gave his team a chance to come back and earn a point. He’ll get the nod again tonight and be backed up by Michael McNiven.
-In addition to Montembeault, goalie Jake Allen (lower-body) is out another seven weeks. Forward Brendan Gallagher (lower-body) could return on this week or next; forward Paul Byron is ready to return; defencemen Joel Edmundson (Personal, COVID) could be back soon, and Carey Price (torn meniscus) remains out indefinitely but could skate in two weeks.
Minnesota Wild Notes
-The Wild will look to extend their point streak to seven games. They’ve gone 5-0-1 since losing the Winter Classic at Target Field on New Year’s Day.
-Kirill ‘The Thrill’ Kaprisov leads the Wild in goals (17), assists (30), and points with 47.
–Cam Talbot returns to the lineup for the first time since the Winter Classic and gets the start tonight. Talbot is 15-8-1 with a 3.00 GAA and .909 save percentage.
Montreal Canadiens Lines:
Artturi Lehkonen-Nick Suzuki-Tyler Toffoli
Laurent Dauphin – Christian Dvorak – Mike Hoffman
Rem Pitlick-Jake Evans-Josh Anderson
Michael Pezzetta-Ryan Poehling-Cedric Paquette
Ben Chiarot-David Savard
Brett Kulak-Jeff Petry
Alexander Romanov-Chris Wideman
Minnesota Wild Lines
Kirill Kaprisov – Ryan Hartman – Mats Zuccarello
Jordan Greenway – Joel Eriksson-Ek – Marcus Foligno
Matthew Boldy – Frederick Gaudreau – Kevin Fiala
Connor Dewar – Nico Sturm – Brandon Duhaime
Alex Goligoski – Jared Spurgeon
Dmitry Kulikov – Matthew Dumba
Jon Merrill – Jordie Benn