The Montreal Canadiens (1-1-0) host the Toronto Maple Leafs (1-2-0) on Friday night at the Bell Centre. The puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.
The game comes on the heels of a rather entertaining 4-3 preseason win by the Habs over the Ottawa Senators.
Forwards Juraj Slafkovsky and Kirby Dach led the charge for the Canadiens, keeping the understaffed Senators lineup at bay long enough for Nick Suzuki, Sean Monahan, and Cole Caufield to secure the win.
— HockeyStatCards (@hockeystatcards) September 28, 2023
The Canadiens will run with a few new lines on Friday night, including a new top-line combination featuring Joel Armia, Sean Monahan, and Josh Anderson.
Given that Armia seems to be the odd man out among forwards, the team may be attempting to garner some trade interest by showcasing him on the first line.
As for the rest of the forwards, Tanner Pearson, Jake Evans, and Brendan Gallagher will form the second line, whereas prospects Joshua Roy, Owen Beck, and Jesse Ylonen will play on the third line.
Defensively, Jordan Harris will play with Logan Mailloux on the top pair, with Arber Xhekaj and Gustav Lindstrom forming the second defensive pairing.
Cayden Primeau will get the start for the Habs, with Strauss Mann acting as his backup.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs had the day off on Thursday, but practiced early on Friday morning before their matchup against the Habs.
At first glance, it’s quite clear that it’s an inexperienced lineup.
The Leafs will feature more NHL players than the Senators did during the last preseason outing, but it’s only fair to say that this is far from a legitimate roster, which means we will have to take the results with a grain of salt.
Veterans Tyler Bertuzzi and Mark Giordano are among the most recognizable names that will face the Canadiens.
Maple Leafs D John Klingberg (upper body, day-to-day) and F William Nylander (flu-like symptoms) will not practice today.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) September 29, 2023
Montreal Canadiens Injuries
- Carey Price
- Mike Matheson (preventative)
Toronto Maple Leafs Injuries
- John Klingberg (day-to-day)
- Calle Jarnkrok (day-to-day)
- William Nylander (flu)
Montreal Canadiens Projected Lines
|Cole Caufield||Nick Suzuki||Juraj Slafkovsky|
|Jake Evans||Sean Monahan||Josh Anderson|
|Tanner Pearson||Christian Dvorak||Brendan Gallagher|
|Joel ARmia||Mitchell Stephens||Jesse Ylonen|
|Mike Matheson||Gustav Lindstrom|
|Kaiden Guhle||Justin Barron|
|Jayden Struble||Johnathan Kovacevic|
Toronto Maple Leafs Unconfirmed Projected Lineup
Bertuzzi – Holmberg – Gregor
Knies – Minten – Lafferty
Robertson – Kampf – Reaves
Abruzzese – Shaw – Ellis
Giordano – Liljegren
Lagesson – Timmins
Sova – Kokkonen
- The Toronto Maple Leafs lost twice to the Ottawa Senators before earning their first preseason win on Wednesday against the Buffalo Sabres (5-2)
- The teams split their 2022-23 season series, with each club earning two wins.