Canadiens Game 57: Lineup Shuffle, New Lines, New Pairings
The Montreal Canadiens (23-20-4) visit the high-flying New Jersey Devils (37-14-5) on Tuesday night. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
With half the roster on the injured reserve, not to mention Kirby Dach’s absence, new players will have had to drive the offence for the Canadiens.
Jonathan Drouin is currently the team’s hottest player, having scored five points in five games, whereas defenceman Jordan Harris is currently the team’s best goal-scorer, with two goals in the same stretch.
The Habs are coming off back-to-back losses against the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Carolina Hurricanes, games that were clearly one-sided matchups.
Head coach Martin St-Louis decided to roll out new lines, although the top line of Rafael Harvey-Pinard, Nick Suzuki, and Josh Anderson remains intact.
Rem Pitlick received a promotion to the second line alongside Christian Dvorak and Evgenii Dadonov, whereas Drouin will centre the third line, flanked by Mike Hoffman and Joel Armia. Alex Belzile will take the fourth line draws with Michael Pezzetta and Jesse Ylonen.
Among defencemen, Mike Matheson reunites with David Savard on the top pairing, with Jordan Harris on the second pairing beside Justin Barron. Chris Wideman is slated to be a healthy scratch, leaving Corey Schueneman and Johnathan Kovacevic on the final pairing.
Samuel Montembeault is expected to start for the Canadiens.
As for the Devils, they continue to be one of the best teams in the league, currently third overall in the NHL with 79 points in just 56 games.
With five points in the last five games, Nico Hischier is their hottest hand, although the Canadiens will have to keep a close eye on Newfoundland native Dawson Mercer, who has four goals in that span.
Vitek Vanecek was expected to get the start before practice, and with MacKenzie Blackwood leaving early due to a possible minor injury, it’s looking certain that the Canadiens will face the Devils’ backup.
Montreal Canadiens Injuries
- Kaiden Guhle (Injured Reserve)
- Joel Edmundson (Day-To-Day)
- Kirby Dach (Illness)
- Brendan Gallagher (Injured Reserve)
- Jake Evans (Injured Reserve)
- Arber Xhekaj (Injured, No Update)
- Juraj Slafkovsky (Injured Reserve)
- Cole Caufield (Injured Reserve)
- Sean Monahan (LTIR)
- Carey Price (LTIR)
- Paul Byron (LTIR)
New Jersey Devils
- Jonathan Bernier (IR)
Montreal Canadiens Previous Lineup
|Mike Hoffman||Nick Suzuki||Joel Armia|
|Sean Farrell||Jonathan Drouin||Denis Gurianov
|Rem Pitlick||Jake Evans||Brendan Gallagher|
|Micheal Pezzetta||Chris Tierney||Joel Teasdale|
|Mike Matheson||Justin Barron|
|Joel Edmundson||Chris Wideman|
|Frederic Allard||Jonathan Kovacevic|
New Jersey Devils Projected Lineup
Tatar – Hischier – Mercer
Sharangovich – Hughes- Bratt
Palat – Haula – Zetterlund
Wood – McLeod – Boqvist
Smith – Hamilton
Graves – Seaverson
Siegenthaler – Bahl
|Team||PP %||PK %|
|Montreal Canadiens||16.3% (28th)||72.1% (29th)|
|Boston Bruins||22.7% (11th)||87.1% (1st)|
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I don’t think the Carolina game was as one-sided as the score would lead one to believe. We were tied 2-2 going into the 3rd period before the wheels fell off a dramatically undermanned and inexperienced team.