The struggling Montreal Canadiens (15-19-3) face the Nashville Predators (15-14-6) on Wednesday night. The puck drop is scheduled for 8 PM ET.
The Predators have had difficulty finding their rhythm this season, sitting sixth in the Central division with 36 points, including just three regulation wins in the last 10 games.
The Canadiens will be well served by keeping a close eye on Filip Forsberg, as he leads all Predators players in scoring with 14 goals and 18 assists in 35 games. He’s been particularly great in recent games, earning five goals and 2 assists in his last five matchups.
Forsberg recently became the third player in Predators history to reach the 500-point mark.
James Norris Trophy winner Roman Josi leads the charge from the back end with eight goals and 20 assists this season. Matt Duchene rounds out the top by, having scored 10 goals and 17 assists this year.
Jusse Saros is expected to make the start for the Predators.
The Canadiens are in the midst of a timely collapse from a 2023 Draft point of view. Martin St-Louis’ team sits last in the Atlantic division with a paltry 33 points, including just two wins in their last 10 games.
It’s also worth noting the Canadiens have not won in regulation since their 4-2 win over Seattle on Dec.6., and are currently on a five-game losing streak.
The Canadiens held an optional practice in Nashville on Wednesday afternoon, though it was attended by many more players than usual for an optional workout.
Jake Evans was first on the ice, followed by Arber Xhekaj, Michael Pezzetta, Anthony Richard, Joel Armia, Johnathan Kovacevic, Jordan Harris, Chris Wideman, Evgenii Dadonov, Kirby Dach, Justin Barron, Juraj Slafkovsky, Jonathan Drouin, Samuel Montembeault, and Jake Allen.
Defenceman David Savard did not take part in the optional practice, however, he was seen practicing with a regular jersey on Tuesday, and will be in the lineup against the Predators.
Anthony Richard will also re-enter the lineup, which means both Joel Armia and Jonathan Kovacevic will watch the game from the press box.
Montembeault will start for the Canadiens.
— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) January 3, 2023
Montreal Canadiens Injuries
- Kaiden Guhle (N/A)
- Mike Matheson (indefinitely)
- Sean Monahan (2 weeks)
- David Savard (day-to-day)
- Carey Price (LTIR)
- Paul Byron (LTIR)
Nashville Predators Injuries
- Cole Smith (day-to-day)
- Michael McCarron (IR, NHLPA Player Assistance Program)
- Mark Borowiecki (IR)
Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
|Josh Anderson||Nick Suzuki||Rem Pitlick|
|Mike Hoffman||Kirby Dach||Jesse Ylönen|
|Christian Dvorak||Evgenii Dadonov|
|Micheal Pezzetta||Alex Belzile||Rafaël Harvey-Pinard|
|Mike Matheson||David Savard|
|Arber Xhekaj||Justin Barron|
|Jordan Harris||Johnathan Kovacevic|
Nashville Predators Projected Lineup
Forsberg – Parssinen – Sissons
Trenin – Johansen – Duchene
Niederreiter – Glass – Grandlund
Jankowski – Novak – Jeannot
McDonagh – Josi
Ekholm – Carrier
Lauzon – Fabbro
|Team||PP %||PK %|
|Montreal Canadiens||14.8% (32nd)||73.5% (29th)|
|Ottawa Senators||26.3% (3rd)||81.2% (10th)|
- Following a slump in scoring, winger Cole Caufield scored two goals in the Canadiens’ embarrassing 9-2 loss on New Year’s eve.
- Through no fault of his own, goaltender Samuel Montembeault only had one win during December.
- With three points in his last five games, rookie defenceman Arber Xhekaj is currently the most productive member of the Canadiens.