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Canadiens vs Lightning: Game Thread, Lines, & TV Schedule

The Habs are back in Montreal to play a key game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

First place Atlantic Division implications are on the line tonight when the puck drops between the Habs and Lightning. The Habs hold the edge in the standings, with one less game played and 2 points up on the Bolts, but the Bolts hold the edge in the season series, beating the Habs in both games played so far by a combined scored of 11-3.  The Habs and Lightning will play 4 times over the next 12 games to meet the season quota of 6 games played. These games put a potential 8 points on the board, which may spell the difference between entering the playoffs with guaranteed home ice-advantage or as a 3rd or 4th seed.

Tampa Bay is coming off a 5-4 gunslinger's win against the Dallas Stars, a game where both teams traded goals into 3rd period when the Lightning took the definitive lead  5:31 into the period. The Lightning are one of the best teams in the league at generating more offense than their opponents. Ranked 4th in the NHL in CF%, with a rate of 53.7, the Lightning generate 403 more shot attempts for than are created against them (2,944 CF vs. 2,541 CA). By comparison, the Habs are ranked 23rd in the league in CF%, with a rate of 48.8, and have allowed 137 more shot attempts against than they have created shot attempts for (2,845 CF vs 2,982 CA).

With Carey Price in net, the Hbas will be looking to their MVP to hold the fort as he has been called upon to do all year with a record of 37-13-3 (69.8 winning %), .936 sv % and 1.89 GAA. On the other side of the ice, the Habs will be shooting at Ben Bishop, who has been absolutely solid in his last five games, going 4-1-0, and posting a .923 sv% and 1.80 GAA over that stretch, which is well above his season average of .913 SV% and 2.39 GAA over the 50 games he's played this season.

The puck drops at 7:30PM EST.

In Canada (English): Sportsnet East
In Canada (French): RDS
In the Tampa Bay Region: SUN
Elsewhere: NHL Center Ice or NHL Gamecenter Live

Montreal Canadiens Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Max Pacioretty David Desharnais Dale Weise
Alex Galchenyuk Tomas Plekanec Brendan Gallagher
Lars Eller Jacob de la Rose Devante Smith-Pelly
Brandon Prust Torrey Mitchell Brian Flynn
Left Defense
Right Defense
Andrei Markov P.K. Subban
Tom Gilbert Jeff Petry
Nathan Beaulieu Sergei Gonchar
Carey Price
Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Mike Weaver, Manny Malholtra, P.A. Parenteau
Alexei Emelin (upper-body),

Tampa Bay Lightning Projected Lineup
Left Wing
Right Wing
Alex Killhorn Steven Stamkos Ryan Callahan
Ondrej Palat Tyler Johnson Nikita Kucherov
Cedric Paquette Valterri Filppula Vladislav Namestnikov
Jonathan Drouin Brian Boyle Brenden Morrow
Left Defense
Right Defense
Anton Stralman Victor Hedman
Mark Barberio Andrej Sustr
Jason Garrison Braydon Coburn
Ben Bishop
Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Nikita Nesterov
J.T. Brown (upper body), Matthew Carle (abdomen), Mattias Ohlund (knee)

Check out the enemy over at Raw Charge.