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Canadiens vs. Flames: Game preview, start time, Tale of the Tape, and how to watch

The Western Canada road trip continues with a stop in Calgary.

Montreal Canadiens v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens annual December road trip takes them to the province of Alberta, with back-to-back games against the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers.

The Habs are coming off a 7-5 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night, and will be looking to duplicate that result tonight, though Claude Julien would probably prefer it come with fewer goals against.

The first game into Shea Weber’s indefinite absence was less than convincing from a makeshift blue-line contingent, and that was with an excellent game from Jeff Petry, who had been moved up to the number-one spot. To that end, the Canadiens recalled Brett Lernout from the AHL, perhaps for him to earn a spot in the lineup for the first time this season, perhaps just to offer the threat of that happening for those who didn’t play up to par in the last game.

There could have been few complaints about the play at the opposite end of the ice, as the Habs posted seven goals and would have had more if not for some spectacular saves from Canucks goalie Anders Nilsson. The forwards were looking for ways to score and getting into position to do just that, and a repeat of that effort will go a long way to a second consecutive win.

How to watch

Puck drop: 9:00 PM EST / 6:00 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Flames region: Sportsnet West
Elsewhere: GameCentre Live, NHL Center Ice

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistic Panthers
Canadiens Statistic Panthers
25-30-11 Record 32-25-7
1-1-0 H2H Record 1-1-0
51.0% Corsi-for pct. 49.1%
171 Goals for 193
206 Goals against 204
20.2% PP% 19.4%
76.5% PK% 79.3%

The Flames achieved that feat in their previous game by defeating what was the Western Conference’s top team, the St. Louis Blues, by a 2-1 score. The Calgary defence has been stingy of late, giving up more than two goals just a single time in the past eight games, and that a 3-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks.

After an inconsistent start to the season, Mike Smith is finding his game once again. Two minor penalties in his last five games is an indication that he’s feeling like his old self.

It’s no surprise that the offence is being led by Johnny Gaudreau, who has 40 points through 35 games. Sean Monahan hold the team goal-scoring lead, with 17 tallies on the season.

Robbed of a chance to see Jaromir Jagr when Calgary was in town earlier this month, it seems Habs fans won’t get to see the legendary point-producer take on the Habs in a Flames sweater. On what will very likely be his farewell tour, Jagr has been battling injuries all season long after waiting for a contract, and is slated to miss tonight’s game.