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Canadiens vs. Blue Jackets: Game Thread, roster, lines, and how to watch

A game against the Columbus Blue Jackets might not seem that important, but this one is.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Habs blew a 2-0 lead over the Devils on Saturday, and will be looking to bounce back amid the news that their starting goaltender and team MVP will be out for six weeks.

Even though the Canadiens have shown they are able to win in a lot of different ways, and have shown the ability to win without Carey Price between the pipes (something they only did 6 times in 17 games last season), and did so very recently, the magnifying glass is now over this team as it enters this defined period of time where they must reinforce the belief of their fans and critics around the league that they can succeed without him.

This will be Canadiens' sixth game in a row against a Metropolitan Division team. The Habs are 4-0-1 on this stretch, and have only one regulation loss in the past seven games.

The Habs are now three points up on the New York Rangers for first in the Eastern Conference. With about 15-19 games to play before the return of Brendan Gallagher and Carey Price, the Habs will looking to firmly establish their ability to win with their depth very early on so as to quiet the narrative that they are a team that is in trouble. Even though Price has been out two games already, the announcement of his six-week stay on the IR makes it official: the Habs will have to find a way to win a lot of games without him.

The Jackets have been playing much better since John Tortorella took over behind the bench, with a record of 10-8-0 since October 21, which is a substantial bounce-back from the seven-game losing streak with which they opened their season. So while the Jackets fill one of the lower spots in the standings, they are not a team to take lightly, but are also not one of the NHL's elite teams, so this match-up is exactly what the Habs need to boost their winning ways while the man responsible for many of their wins last season sits on the shelf.

This will be Michel Therrien's 700th career NHL game behind the bench. The Montreal native has a record of 355-250-23-71 in 699 games.

The puck drops at 7:30 PM EST.

How To Watch:
In Canada (French): RDS
In Canada (English): Sportsnet East
In the Blue Jackets' region: FS-O
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Max Pacioretty Tomas Plekanec Devante Smith-Pelly
Lars Eller Alex Galchenyuk Sven Andrighetto
Tomas Fleischmann David Desharnais Dale Weise
Paul Byron Brian Flynn Christian Thomas
Left Defense
Right Defense
Andrei Markov P.K. Subban
Nathan Beaulieu Jeff Petry
Alexei Emelin Tom Gilbert
Mike Condon
Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Greg Pateryn, Jarred Tinordi, Bud Holloway
Carey Price (lower body) Brendan Gallagher (broken fingers), Torrey Mitchell (lower body), Alexander Semin (lower body), Michael Bournival (post-concussion syndrome)

Columbus Blue Jackets Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Boone Jenner Ryan Johansen Nick Foligno
Scott Hartnell Alexander Wennberg Brandon Saad
Matt Calvert Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Gregory Campbell William Karlsson Kerby Rychel
Left Defense
Right Defense
Jack Johnson David Savard
Ryan Murray Kevin Connauton
Justin Falk Andrew Bodnarchuk
Sergei Brobovsky
Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Michael Chaput, Dalton Prout
Injuries: Fedor Tyutin (nose), Cody Goloubef (jaw), Rene Bourque (upper body), David Clarkson (back), Jared Boll (foot), Markus Jannikainen (shoulder)

Check out the enemy over at The Cannon.