The Montreal Canadiens (5-2-1) are in Nevada to face the Vegas Golden Knights (8-0-1) at the T-Mobile Arena. The puck drop is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET.
It will be the most difficult challenge of the season for the plucky Canadiens, as Vegas is yet to lose a game in regulation. They did drop a 4-3 game to Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks in overtime, but for the most part, Vegas seems poised to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.
The Habs will look to build upon the momentum they created on Saturday night when they enjoyed another comeback win, this time against the Winnipeg Jets.
Sean Monahan and Jake Allen stole the show, with the former continuing to perform as the best player on the team, and the latter sporting an impressive .930 save percentage throughout the season.
Kaiden Guhle was also among the team’s best players, an encouraging sign given that he missed some time with an upper-body injury.
Joel Armia immediately scored upon his return to the NHL thanks to an excellent controlled entry by Guhle, who gave his teammate all the time and space necessary to find the back of the net.
Joel Armia has scored in 100% of his games this season.
Look at the great controlled entry by Kaiden Guhle. That's the good stuff. pic.twitter.com/eYS8O62bAp
— Marc Dumont (@MarcPDumont) October 29, 2023
It should be noted that Juraj Slafkovsky, who is just 19, is still two years removed from being legally allowed to gamble in Las Vegas. It’s a good reminder that despite the lack of results, patience is still in order for the youngest player on the team.
There was some good news from practice when it comes to the health of Mike Matheson. He had to leave Saturday’s game, but he was present and practicing with his team on Monday morning. We’ll have to wait for confirmation that he’ll be in the lineup, but for now, it seems like there are decent odds he’ll play.
The lines at practice were identical to the combinations head coach Martin St-Louis used against Winnipeg, which means Armia will once again take Jesse Ylonen’s spot on the fourth line.
The second line, which features Josh Anderson, Alex Newhook, and Slafkovsky, will aim to finally produce some offence. The trio has struggled since Kirby Dach’s injury which will keep him out of action for the remainder of the season. Anderson is getting a fair amount of chances but has lost his scoring touch, as evidenced by his lack of goals.
Despite playing his best hockey in a very long time, Jake Allen will not start for the Habs. Samuel Montembeault will serve as the starter.
Vegas Golden Knights
Defenceman Shea Theodore currently leads his team in scoring with three goals and seven assists in 10 games, though he shares the limelight with forward William Karlsson, who has produced the exact same number of goals and assists.
The Golden Knights have been scoring by committee. No player has scored more than three goals this season, however, in addition to Theodore and Karlsson, Jack Eichel, Nicolas Roy, and Jonathan Marchesseault have also scored three times.
Goaltending responsibilities have been shared between Aiden Hill (.915 save percentage) and Logan Thompson (.930 save percentage). Hill is expected to be given the start against the Habs.
Thompson has been excellent during his four starts and currently ranks ahead of Allen when it comes to goals saved above expected.
— MoneyPuck.com (@MoneyPuckdotcom) October 29, 2023
Montreal Canadiens Injuries
- Christian Dvorak (week-to-week)
- Carey Price (IR)
- Chris Wideman (IR)
- Kirby Dach (out for season)
Vegas Golden Knights
- Isaiah Saville (IR)
- Nicolas Roy (IR
- Robin Lehner (IR)
- Zach Whitecloud (IR)
Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
|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|
Vegas Golden Knights
Barbashev – Eichel – Marchessault
Cotter – Stephenson – Stone
Dorofeyev – Karlsson – Amadio
Carrier – Howden – Kolesar
McNabb – Theodore
Pietrangelo – Martinez
Pachal – Hague