To say the home team for the evening has been struggling might be an understatement. The Ducks are 0-6-1 in their last seven and have tanked in 16 of their last 18.
Five-on-five has been a disaster for Anaheim, with a 29th ranked 0.64 F/A. Like the Canadiens, they have also allowed four shorthanded goals against, which adds to their -13 overall rating (29th).
What they do have going for them is their 8th ranked penalty kill (third in the Western Conference).
The "old man" Teemu Selanne leads the team in scoring with 22 points, and you have to think that Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf will start picking it up soon.
Jonas Hiller will get the call in goal and is 1-0-1 (2.77, .928) in his career vs. Montreal. Jeff Deslauriers will be his backup as Dan Ellis has... problems.
They may be looking for this match-up as a chance to rebound, as they have gone 4-0-1 in their last five meetings against the Habs.
Reports speculated that Andrei Markov could return to the lineup tonight, which were shot down by Jacques Martin. Markov didn't skate at the pre-game practice and the coach says he's taking a therapy day. What that means is up for speculation, but most likely it means he's just not ready, or could play tomorrow and wants to rest for a day prior. As always though, speculation abounds of another setback with his knee.
With Max Pacioretty serving his three game suspension, Andrei Kostitsyn will move up to play on the wing with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta
Louis Leblanc will make his NHL debut, and will likely see action on the third line as Aaron Palushaj is a surprising healthy scratch in favor of Yannick Weber, who will play on the 4th line.
Peter Budaj is 4-6-3 (2.77, .913) in his career against Anaheim.
MONTREAL CANADIENS PROJECTED LINEUP
Andrei Kostitsyn - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta
Mike Cammalleri - David Desharnais - Erik Cole
Travis Moen - Lars Eller - Louis Leblanc
Mathieu Darche - Petteri Nokelainen - Yannick Weber
Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban
Frederic St- Denis - Alexei Emelin
Hal Gill - Raphael Diaz
ANAHEIM DUCKS PROJECTED LINEUP
Matt Beleskey - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry
Andrew Cogliano - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selanne
Bobby Ryan - Ben Maxwell - Niklas Hagman
Andrew Gordon - Maxime Macenauer - Devante Smith-Pelly
Toni Lydman - Cam Fowler
Francois Beauchemin - Luca Sbisa
Sheldon Brookbank - Nate Guenin
Jonas Hiller - Jeff Deslauriers
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