Game Thread: Habs look to get on track vs Leafs

The Habs and Leafs meet for the second time this season, Saturday night at the Bell Centre. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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Something has to give tonight. The Montreal Canadiens will be seeking their second win of the season, and first at home, hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Habs are coming off a weak effort against the Pittsburgh Penguins, while the Leafs are coming off their first reality check of the season, a 6-2 pounding at the hands of the Boston Bruins.

"It's got nothing to do with the bounces, it's the way we're playing. We're just not supporting each other and we're getting away from what we want to do as a team. It's tough to win games that way." - Brian Gionta 10/21/2011

Both teams will certainly have something to prove, so we should be in for a competitive match-up. The Leafs will want to show that their 3-0-1 start will not parlay into last year's hot opening that saw them go 1-8-3 immediately after. The Habs will be trying to avoid their first five-game winless streak in almost two years.

The Leafs are 25th in the league on the penalty kill (74.1%), so the Habs might want to look to draw penalties often in an effort to bolster their beleaguered power play units.

Scott Gomez had an MRI on his upper body injury on Friday, and will be out for tonight. Jaroslav Spacek continues to skate with the team but has not been given the green light. Andrei Markov remains in Florida and is not expected to return to action until sometime in November. Whether it's November 2011 or 2012 was not made clear.

Carey Price gets the start in goal, and is 3-1-0 with a 0.76 goals-against average and two shutouts in his last four starts versus Toronto

 

 

Phil Kessel leads the league with 12 points and is tied for the lead with seven goals and has four goals and three assists in his last five games versus Montreal. David Steckel is second in the league in face-offs with a 64.2 winning percentage.

Mike Komisarek was a healthy scratch for the Leafs against Boston on Thursday. Unconfirmed reports state the Leafs rearguard begged and pleaded with coach Ron Wilson to keep him away from Milan Lucic. Clarke MacArthur is reported as day-to-day with an lower-body injury, while Tim Connolly (upper body) and Colby Armstrong (ankle) are on injured reserve.

James Reimer shutout the Habs in the season opener, and is 2-1-0 with a 2.67 GAA in three starts against the Montreal.

 

Maple Leafs vs Canadiens coverage

The nonsensical game analysis from Pension Plan Puppets

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