The Montreal Canadiens (14-13-2) head back home to host the Anaheim Ducks (7-20-3) on Thursday night at the Bell Centre. The puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM ET.
The Anaheim Ducks are coming off an embarrassing loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night, which saw the Leafs score a touchdown as goaltender John Gibson had to leave the game early for Anaheim. It forced the Ducks to recall Olle Eriksson Ek from the San Diego Gulls leading up to tonight’s game.
Losing games has become a trend for the Ducks, who only have one regulation win in their last 10 games.
But the trend goes beyond their last stretch of games. As it stands, the Ducks sit last overall in the NHL with just 17 points in 30 games.
They’ve only managed to win a single game on the road, showing a 2-13-3 record away from the Honda Centre.
That has led to a paltry .283 points percentage, and fairly healthy odds the Ducks will find themselves in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes at the 2023 Draft.
Winger Troy Terry leads the team in scoring with 11 goals and 16 assists in 30 games, followed closely by skilled centre Trevor Zegras, who has 10 goals and 13 assists to his credit this year. Cam Fowler leads all Ducks defencemen in scoring with three goals and 12 assists.
With Gibson out, rookie Lukas Dostal is expected to get the start tonight. Despite excellent numbers on an average Gulls team in the AHL, Dostal has had two disastrous showings so far this season.
That being said, the Montreal Canadiens are wearing their reverse retro jerseys, and they’re facing an inexperienced, but talented young goaltender. We’ve seen this script before.
The Canadiens are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night, a frustrating affaire that showed a clear lack of discipline on the Canadiens’ part.
They rallied in the third period with goals from Kirby Dach and Christian Dvorak, but it was too little, too late. The strong effort was all for naught due to the indiscipline, and despite Anaheim’s rather weak roster, the Canadiens cannot afford another parade to the penalty box.
The good news is Jake Evans had his best game of the year. With the Sean Monahan injury creating a dearth of talent down the middle, it’s important for centres like Evans and Dvorak to find their scoring rhythm, and find it quickly.
Lastly, rookie Juraj Slafkovsky continues to show growth in his game and is now being rewarded on the stat sheet, as he’s accumulated five of his ten points so far this season over the last seven games.
Seeing as they’re on the second leg of back-to-back games, Jake Allen is expected to make the start for the Canadiens.
Montreal Canadiens Injuries
- Sean Monahan (2 weeks)
- David Savard (day-to-day)
- Brendan Gallagher (2 weeks)
- Carey Price (LTIR)
- Paul Byron (LTIR)
Anaheim Ducks Injuries
- Anthony Stolarz (IR)
- Max Jones (day-to-day)
- Derek Grant (IR)
- Isac Lundestrom (IR)
- Jamie Drysdale (IR)
- John Moore (IR)
Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
|Josh Anderson||Nick Suzuki||Rem Pitlick|
|Mike Hoffman||Kirby Dach||Jesse Ylönen|
|Owen Beck||Christian Dvorak||Evgenii Dadonov|
|Micheal Pezzetta||Alex Belzile||Rafaël Harvey-Pinard|
|Mike Matheson||David Savard|
|Arber Xhekaj||Justin Barron|
|Jordan Harris||Johnathan Kovacevic|
Anaheim Ducks Projected Roster
Henrique – Zegras – Silfverberg
Terry – Strome – Vatrano
Comtois – McTavish – Leason
Megna – Carrick – Jones
Fowler – Shattenkirk
Benoit – Klingberg
Kulikov – Shattenkirk
Special Teams[table “18” not found /]
- Nick Suzuki leads all Canadiens players with 14 goals and 16 assists in 29 games.
- Josh Anderson has hit his stride in recent games, scoring three goals in his last five outings.
- Juraj Slafkovsky now has five points in his last seven games since being moved off the fourth line.
- Mike Matheson has earned four assists in his last five games, but is still out with a minor injury.