The Montreal Canadiens (11-11-3) will face the Los Angeles Kings (15-4-3) at the Bell Centre on Thursday night. The puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET.
The last time these two teams met it ended in a one-sided loss for the Canadiens and a reality check when it comes to their ability to beat top clubs.
The Habs are coming off an important win against the Seattle Kraken on Monday night, a game that featured a very strong start for Martin St-Louis’ team, a rarity this season.
They faded slightly down the stretch, but starting the game on the right foot was enough to secure a win against the struggling Kraken. In addition to their good start, the Canadiens also received goal-scoring from a trio of veterans who were desperate to get off the schneid. Sean Monahan put an end to his 14-game scoring drought, whereas Tanner Pearson registered his name in the goal column for the first time in 22 games.
Most importantly, Josh Anderson scored his first goal of the season. It was an empty-net goal, but the Canadiens are hoping it will serve as a motivating factor for the speedy winger. The youngest player in the lineup, Juraj Slafkovsky, also enjoyed a very good outing.
Samuel Montembeault, fresh off a contract extension, will start his second game in a row. It’s a sign that the team is moving away from its three-goaltender rotation, although you could argue the goaltending issue should have been solved by now.
Michael Pezzetta will return to the lineup on Thursday, while veteran Joel Armia is slated to be a healthy scratch.
As for the Los Angeles Kings, not much has changed since the last time the Habs faced them. They’re still a dominant team with a lot of depth, which makes beating them a rather difficult proposal. They currently have a 7-2-1 record in their last 10 games, and trail only the Vegas Golden Knights for the top spot in the Pacific Division.
Adrian Kempe continues to lead the team with 22 points, but he’s followed closely by three other Kings forwards who have registered more than 20 points this year; Anze Kopitar, Trevor Moore, and Kevin Fiala.
If you were inclined to nit a pick, you could say that newcomer Pierre-Luc Dubois has been disappointing with his five goals and six assists in 11 games, but very few teams would complain about having a player of his talent as their third-line centre.
Former Hab Philip Danault is currently serving as the team’s second-line centre thanks to his elite defensive prowess and his underrated production. Danault has six goals and nine assists this season.
Montreal Canadiens Injuries
- David Savard (out 6-8 weeks)
- Carey Price (IR)
- Chris Wideman (IR)
- Kirby Dach (out indefinitely, ACL/MCL)
- Rafael Harvey-Pinard (IR)
- Jordan Harris (out indefinitely)
- Alex Newhook (out 10-12 weeks)
Los Angeles Kings Injuries
- Jaden Schwartz (day-to-day)
- Andre Burakovsky (IR)
Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Los Angeles Projected Lineup
Byfield – Kopitar – Kempe
Fiala – Danault – Moore
Grundstrom – Dubois – Laferriere
Anderson-Dolan – Lewis – Kaliyev
Anderson – Doughty
Gavrikov – Roy
Englund – Spence