The Montreal Canadiens (15-16-3) face the potent Tampa Bay Lightning (20-11-14) on Wednesday night at the Amelie Arena. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 PM ET.
The Canadiens are now facing the toughest part of their schedule and we’ve begun to see the growing pains of a young roster over the rigours of a full, 82-game season.
Despite a valiant effort by the Canadiens’ fourth line against the Dallas Stars, the Canadiens need more secondary scoring for their second and third lines if they’re going to have any success.
The fact that they came away from games against the Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche and Stars with three points out of six is pretty decent, but can mainly be attributed to out-of-this-world goaltending from both Samuel Montembeault and Jake Allen, who will start the game against Tampa Bay.
If the Canadiens are to have any chance of besting the red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning, they’ll need all hands on deck; and, especially, everyone on the ice instead of the penalty box.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have a blistering 26.3% success rate on the power play, while the Canadiens are dropping significantly in the penalty kill department, sitting 20th with 77.2% efficacy.
Discipline and coordinated team defence will be in order for tonight’s game, but it’s about time for Suzuki and Caufield to get some scoring support for their teammates.
Fresh up a promotion to the NHL, defenceman Justin Barron will take Chris Wideman’s place on the blueline. Veteran winger Brendan Gallagher will not play, but was spotted in a regular jersey at the team’s practice on Wednesday morning.
Montreal Canadiens Injuries
- Mike Matheson (indefinitely)
- Sean Monahan (2 weeks)
- David Savard (day-to-day)
- Brendan Gallagher (2 weeks)
- Carey Price (LTIR)
- Paul Byron (LTIR)
Tampa Bay Lightning Injuries
- Rudolf Balcers (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|
Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Roster
Hagel – Point – Kucherov
Colton – Paul – Stamkos
Maroon – Cirelli – Killorn
Namestnikov – Bellemare – Perry
Hedman – Bogosian
Sergachev – Perbix
Cole – Cernak
|Team||PP %||PK %|
|Montreal Canadiens||15.1% (32nd)||73.6% (29th)|
|Ottawa Senators||26.2% (4th)||80.8% (12th)|
- Nikita Kucherov leads the Tampa Bay Lightning in scoring with 13 goals and 36 assists in 39 games.
- Former Canadiens defenceman Mikhail Sergachev leads all Tampa Bay defencemen in scoring with five goals and 22 assists in 30 games.