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Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs: Game thread, rosters, lines, and how to watch

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The oldest NHL rivalry is on tap Saturday night in Montreal.

NHL: Preseason-Toronto Maple Leafs at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

As the season moves along, it seems that the Montreal Canadiens’ struggles have hit a melting point. They look to turn that around this evening as they host the red-hot Toronto Maple Leafs, live from the Bell Centre.

The Canadiens (8-10-2) hit a major snag when in their last game they had the opportunity to get back to .500 hockey, playing a game against the NHL's last-place Arizona Coyotes, but it was all for nought, as they dropped the decision 5-4. The win was only Arizona's third win of the season, and their first in regulation.

Forward Brendan Gallagher scored his team-leading eighth goal in the loss. Paul Byron and defencemen Joe Morrow and Shea Weber rounded out the scoring for the Habs, who now find themselves on a two-game losing skid. Rookie goaltender Charlie Lindgren, still replacing both Carey Price and Al Montoya, who are still out with injuries, allowed more than two goals against for the first time in his nine-game NHL career.

For the Maple Leafs (13-7-0), it seems that this season they are finally realizing their potential after years of stockpiling young talent. Winners of their last five games, the team can now be considered a contender after a drawn out 'rebuilding' phase.

2016 first overall draft pick Auston Matthews, who has missed the last four games with an upper-body injury, is a game-time decision. If he is able to play, it would be his 99th career NHL game. This season, he has 10 goals and 19 points through 16 games.

Veteran centre Patrick Marleau, who previously played his entire NHL career with the San Jose Sharks, came over to play for Toronto this summer, and is still playing some great hockey. At age 39, the Olympian from Saskatchewan has eight goals and 13 points through 20 games.

Goaltender Frederik Andersen is benefiting from the offence, and his 11 wins are tied for second in the entire NHL despite his 27th-ranked save percentage. Only Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy has more victories, with 14.

This is the second meeting between these two Original Six teams in just over a month. On October 14, also in Montreal, it was the Maple Leafs who snapped a 14-game losing streak dating three-plus years against the Habs, winning 4-3 in overtime on a two-goal effort by Matthews. Canadiens off-season acquisition Jonathan Drouin had a goal and an assist in the loss.

Puck drop is at 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST

How to watch

In Canada (English): CBC, CBC Sports, Sportsnet, Sportsnet Now, CityTV
In Canada (French): TVA Sports
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL GameCentre Live, NHL Center Ice

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Max Pacioretty Jonathan Drouin Alex Galchenyuk
Paul Byron Phillip Danault Andrew Shaw
Charles Hudon Tomas Plekanec Brendan Gallagher
Nicolas Deslauriers Jacob de la Rose Byron Froese

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Jordie Benn Shea Weber
Karl Alzner Jeff Petry
Victor Mete Joe Morrow

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Charlie Lindgren
Antti Niemi

Scratched: Torrey Mitchell, Brandon Davidson

Injuries: Ales Hemsky (concussion-like symptoms), David Schlemko (hand), Nikita Scherbak (lower body), Carey Price (lower body), Al Montoya (concussion), Arturri Lekhonen (lower body).

Toronto Maple Leafs projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Leo Komarov Nazem Kadri William Nylander
James van Riemsdyk Tyler Bozak Mitch Marner
Zach Hyman Patrick Marleau Connor Brown
Matt Martin Dominic Moore Nikita Soshnikov

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Morgan Rielly Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner Nikita Zaitsev
Andreas Borgman Connor Carrick

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Frederik Andersen
Curtis McElhinney