The Montreal Canadiens (9-9-2) are in California to wrap up their West Coast trip with a game versus the Los Angeles Kings (12-3-3) on Saturday afternoon. The puck drop is scheduled for 4:00 pm ET.
The Habs are coming off an exciting 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks. It wasn’t a pretty win, especially when you consider the Sharks are a mess, but the Canadiens did enough to push the game to a shootout, where Nick Suzuki and Jesse Ylonon each scored a great goal to clinch the win. It was Monteral’s first win in San Jose in over 20 years.
It was Cayden Primeau’s second win of the season, a strong outing that is sure to help the young netminder with his confidence.
Juraj Slafkovsky enjoyed one of his best games in a Canadiens uniform. He had an assist, but more importantly, he was driving the play, made several nice passes, and used his frame to perfection when screening the opposing goalie.
Cole Caufield, who is currently playing with Slafkovsky and Christian Dvorak on the second line, also had a very good game. He took several shots, which eventually led to his first 5v5 goal of the season.
It’s too early to declare them a dynamic duo, and we can’t ignore that Dvorak has played above expectations, but it’s always fun to see two Canadiens players form chemistry away from the top line.
They’ll look to build on that cohesion to push the Habs toward their first three-game winning streak of the season.
We’ll have to wait for confirmation as to the starting goaltender, but seeing as Primeau started yesterday, it will be either Jake Allen or Samuel Montembeault in the net.
As for the Kings, they’re currently on a four-game winning streak and will present the Canadiens with their toughest challenge of the California swing. They trail the Vegas Golden Knights for the top spot in the Pacific Division, but their 27 points are good enough for fourth overall in the NHL.
They’ve won eight of their last 10 games thanks in part to Kevin Fiala, who has four goals in his last five games. They also happen to own the second-best penalty kill in the league, running at an 88.9 percent efficiency.
To make matters worse, they lead the NHL in goals per game (4 G/PG) and they’re fourth overall in goals against per game (2.5 GA/PG).
They’re scoring goals by committee, and that includes a great start to the season for captain Anze Kopitar, who currently has 10 goals and nine assists in 18 games. Adrian Kempe is also enjoying a great year, with eight goals and 12 assists.
Former Hab Phillip Danault continues to provide important secondary scoring (four goals, 9 assists) while maintaining the same type of stalwart defence that led to his emergence as an excellent two-way forward in Montreal.
Montreal Canadiens Injuries
- David Savard (out 6-8 weeks)
- Carey Price (IR)
- Chris Wideman (IR)
- Kirby Dach (out indefinitely, ACL/MCL)
- Arber Xhekaj (day-to-day)
- Rafael Harvey-Pinard (IR)
- Jordan Harris (out indefinitely)
Los Angeles Kings Injuries
- Blake Lizotte (IR)
- Tobias Bjornfot (IR)
- Viktor Arvidsson (IR)
Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Los Angeles Kings Projected Lineup
Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Fiala – Danault – Moore
Grundstrom – Dubois – Laferriere
Anderson-Dolan – Lewis – Kaliyev
Anderson – Doughty
Gavrikov – Roy
Englund – Spence