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Gamethread: Habs head to Smashville to face Preds

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The Montreal Canadiens hit Music City, playing in the Nashville Predator's 1000th game in their franchise history.

I was on hand for the Habs first visit to Nashville (a 2-2 tie with 20 shots in the second period) in December 1998, during a brutal 11-game winless streak.

Since that time their barn has changed names at least two times, but Barry Trotz is still their coach. He missed one game behind the bench, during the Predators first season, due to the death of his father-in-law.

Pekka Rinne, the Franchise for the Preds, has 2 shutouts in three career starts against the Habs and plays with arguably the leagues best defense pairing (Shea Weber and Ryan Suter) in front of him.

David Legwand is likely out for the Predators, and could be replaced by Nick Spaling, who just came off the Nashville IR.

The last time the Canadiens were in Nashville, the Predators fired 55 shots at Carey Price. Peter Budaj gets the call in goal tonight and is 6-5-0 (2.44, .920) in his career against Nashville.

Update: Andrei Kostitsyn (lower body) is a definite no for tonight, and Mike Cammalleri (lower body) is in and, per TSN990's John Bartlett, starting with Lars Eller and Aaron Palushaj. Scott Gomez makes his return, after missing nine games with an upper-body injury. RDS reports that Gomez is not 100% and will be relegated to fourth line work.

PRE-GAME READING

1000 words on the Preds 1000th game

Top memories in Preds history

SK74 on playing his former team

Stu Cowan has the historic Tootsie's Orchid Lounge on which is right across Broadway from the Bridgestone Arena.

It's Movember, and a few Habs players are raising $$$ for prostate cancer research. I say we put our donations behind this guy. I've donated $15 to Andrew's campaign so I'm challenging my fellow EOTPers/readers to match it.

MONTREAL CANADIENS PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Travis Moen - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Erik Cole - David Desharnais - Max Pacioretty

Mike Cammalleri - Lars Eller - Aaron Palushaj

Scott Gomez - Petteri Nokelainen - Mathieu Darche

Defense Pairings

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Hal Gill - Raphael Diaz

Jaroslav Spacek - Yannick Weber

Goalies

Peter Budaj - Carey Price

NASHVILLE PREDATORS PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Colin Wilson - Craig Smith - Patric Hornqvist.

Sergei Kostitsyn - Mike Fisher - Martin Erat.

Jordin Tootoo - Jerred Smithson - Matt Halischuk

Niclas Bergfors - Blake Geoffrion - Brian McGrattan

Defense Parings

Ryan Suter - Shea Weber

Francis Bouillon - Kevin Klein

Jack Hillen - Jonathon Blum

Goaltenders

Pekka Rinne - Anders Lindback

The views from Smashville at the awesome On the Forecheck

Also worth checking out Preds on the Glass and Inside Smashville