Montreal Canadiens vs. Anaheim Ducks: 3 things to watch
Mike Condon starts against the Ducks as the Habs look to stop a 2-game losing skid
The Anaheim Ducks are in town, in need of just one point to clinch a playoff berth.
Montreal is coming off a disastrous weekend with back-to-back losses against the Senators and the Flames.
The Ducks started their road trip with a win in Winnipeg and hope to continue their hot streak with a season sweep of the Canadiens.
Game time: 7:30 p.m. ET at the Bell Centre
Here are three things to watch:
1. Noooo touchey
Tonight's lineup will once again bear a striking resemblance to the Habs' farm team at the start of the season.
At least there is some good news: Both P.K. Subban and David Desharnais were practicing with the team this morning, sporting the festive don't-touch-me jerseys.
Even Brendan Gallagher, Daniel Carr and Brian Flynn saw the ice today, albeit before the actual practice and with just the athletic therapist for company.
None of these players are ready to suit up tonight, but with a schedule of original six and playoff-bound teams staring back at them, it will be nice to have some reserves on the way.
2. Duck, duck ... goose!
The Canadiens lost both games over the weekend and did it in pretty spectacular fashion: first, a 5-0 loss to the Senators where shorthanded goals were given out at the door, then a 4-1 loss to the Flames.
At least two of the Flames' goals were an absolute breakdown defensively in front of the Habs net and possibly the easiest goals Joe Colborne and Sean Monahan have scored this season.
It must be difficult to get your team to play your defensive system when, as Michel Therrien said this week, "Most of the players ... they are not in their chair," but if they hope to contain even an offensively anemic (24th in the league) team like the Ducks, they will have to be better.
And even if they are not great five on five, the Ducks get some damage done with the man advantage.
They have the best power play in the league, with a 23.4 per cent success rate.
3. Perron free
The Ducks are currently at the start of a five-game road trip and playing some good hockey.
Anaheim got off to a slow start this season but now are one point away from clinching a playoff berth, and they're looking for a third straight win.
They have a couple injuries of their own, and David Perron will be missing from the lineup tonight after suffering a shoulder injury over the weekend.
Forward Mike Santorelli may come in to replace Perron, and a guy that has been a healthy scratch for three games is usually going to want to make his presence felt.