The Habs earned their fourth win in the past seven games with a slim, come from behind victory against the Flyers on Friday night and now sit eight points out of the final playoff spot with one more game played. I guess it doesn't help to look at the standings. At this point the Habs have to win pretty much every game on the schedule to make it.
The Habs have three games before next week's NHL trade deadline, and this week could see the departure of a few likeable figures such as Dale Weise who in all likelihood will be dealt for future parts.
The Canadiens will be in tough tonight, with the Nashville Predators in a fight for a playoff spot and clinging to eight place, just one point up on the Minnesota Wild who have been heating up of late. With pressure coming from below them in the standings, the Predators will probably be looking forward for the chance to refocus and gain confidence against the NHL's most beleaguered team.
The Habs are dealing with a team who has been finding a way to scrape for points, with the Preds going 2-0-3 in their past five. This is something the Canadiens have failed to do enough, but seem undeterred in their motive of making the playoffs. We'll know for sure in a week what management believes about their chances. Once again, there are three games to play until then, including a matchup with the NHL's best team, the Washington Capitals, on Wednesday night that are potential opportunities for this group to prove to management they still have a chance.
Lineup Notes: Mark Barberio will come in to replace Tom Gilbert on defense with Gilbert out day to day; Lucas Lessio is a scratch in favour of Tomas Fleischmann; the Predators are one of the teams in the mix for Dale Weise, who could be suiting up for the other side within a matter of days, but tonight will be featured on the Habs first line with Lars Eller and Max Pacioretty; Mike Condon starts after a strong game on Friday. Update: It looks like Weise will not play tonight as he reportedly has the flu, meaning Lucas Lessio will be in the lineup.
The puck drops at 7:30 PM EST.
How To Watch:
In Canada (French): RDS
In Canada (English): Sportsnet East
In the Predators region: FSTN
Elsewhere: NHL GameCenter, NHL Center Ice
|Max Pacioretty||Lars Eller||Sven Andrighetto|
|Alex Galchenyuk||Tomas Plekanec||Brendan Gallagher|
|Tomas Fleischmann||Jacob de le Rose||Paul Byron|
|Lucas Lessio||Torrey Mitchell||Devante Smith-Pelly|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Alexei Emelin||Nathan Beaulieu|
|Mark Barberio||Greg Pateryn|
Injuries: Carey Price (lower body), Daniel Carr (lower body), Jeff Petry (lower body), Brian Flynn (lower body), David Desharnais (broken foot), Tom Gilbert (lower body), Dale Weise (flu)
|Calle Jarnkrok||Ryan Johansen||James Neal|
|Filip Forsberg||Mike Ribeiro||Craig Smith|
|Colin Wilson||Mike Fisher||Viktor Arvidsson|
|Miikka Salomaki||Paul Gaustad||Austin Watson|
|Roman Josi||Shea Weber|
|Mattias Ekholm||Ryan Ellis|
|Anthony Bitetto||Petter Granberg|
Scratched: Cody Bass
Injuries: Barret Jackman (upper body), Eric Nystrom (broken foot), Gabriel Bourque (upper body)
Check out the enemy over at On the Forecheck.