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Canadiens Pre Game

Canadiens Game 58: An Opportunity To Get Results Versus Devils



Montreal Canadiens vs Devils bigger

The Montreal Canadiens (22-27-8) will face the New Jersey Devils (28-24-4) on Saturday afternoon. The puck drop is scheduled for 2 pm ET.

The Habs are currently in the middle of a four-game losing streak, which should please those looking forward to the 2024 NHL Entry Draft. In addition to their recent slide, the Canadiens also happen to own the toughest strength of schedule in the season’s final stretch.

It will be difficult to fall below teams like the Chicago Blackhawks and the San Jose Sharks, but there’s a strong possibility the team will improve their Draft Lottery odds between now and the end of the season.

MUST READ: Canadiens Outlook – Improving Lottery Odds Down The Stretch

Seeing as Samuel Montembeault and Cayden Primeau started the last two games, logic would dictate it’s Jake Allen’s turn to guard the net.

Jayden Struble was forced to leave Thursday’s game versus the Pittsburgh PEgnuins, but he was spotted walking without any sort of cast or limp, which means he could avoid missing the game against the Devils.

This is an afternoon game, which means the team will not hold a morning skate and there will be no media availabilities prior to puck drop. We will have to wait for the pre-game skate to confirm the roster changes and starting goaltenders.

Despite losing four games in a row, the Canadiens have actually done a much better job controlling the pace of the play in February. The forwards are being outscored by the defencemen, and the goaltenders aren’t stealing points in the standings anymore, which explains the lack of results, but overall, the process has taken a step forward this month. In fact, the Canadiens are a top-10 xGF% team in February (53.8%).

As for the Devils, they continue to lack any semblance of consistency while attempting to qualify for a Wild Card playoff berth. They’re coming off two straight losses and have only managed to win four of their last 10 games.

By all accounts, they should be doing much better.

The Devils rank 5th in the NHL when it comes to shot control (53.1%), and sixth in expected goals (53.3%).

But their control of high-danger chances is significantly lower (15th, 51.6%), and their team save percentage is absolutely horrendous, ranking 30th out of 32 NHL teams.

They do allow a lot of chances, but given the talent in the lineup, they manage to mitigate some of the damage by creating an elevated number of chances themselves.

However, it’s very difficult to make up for bad goaltending, which is almost always a death knell in the NHL.

Former Hab Tyler Toffoli continues to be Mr.Consistent. The 31-year-old winger leads the Devils in goal-scoring with 24 goals in 55 games. Toffoli was also the top goal scorer for the Habs in 2020-21, as well as the Calgary Flames in 2022-23.

If Lindy Ruff’s recent comments are anything to go on, it appears the Devils are under pressure. I’d be surprised if this is a close game. Expect the Devils to either fly out of the gates or continue to be let down by their defenders and goaltenders.

If you’d like to get the view from the other side of the rink, don’t forget to check out our sister site New Jersey Hockey Now.

Montreal Canadiens Injuries

  • Carey Price (IR)
  • Chris Wideman (IR)
  • Kirby Dach (out indefinitely, ACL/MCL)
  • Rafael Harvey-Pinard (4-6 weeks)
  • Christian Dvorak (out)

New Jersey Devils Injuries

  • Nathan Bastian (day-to-day)
  • Vitek Vanecek (IR)
  • Cal Foote (IR)
  • Michael McLeod (IR)
  • Dougie Hamilton (IR)

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup

Cole CaufieldNick SuzukiJuraj Slafkovsky
Brendan GallagherAlex NewhookJoel Armia
Jesse YlonenJake EvansJosh Anderson
Michael PezzettaChristian DvorakRafael Harvey-Pinard
Mike MathesonJustin Barron
Lane HutsonDavid Savard
Jordan HarrisLogan Mailloux
Samuel Montembeault
Cayden Primeau


New Jersey Devils Projected Lineup

Palat – Hischier – Bratt

Hughes – Haula – Toffoli

Meier – Lazar – Mercer

Holtz – Nosek – Bastian


Hughes – Marino

Bahl – Nemec

Siegenthaler – Smith




How to Watch Or Listen


Sportsnet, RDS


Montreal Canadiens: TSN 690