In their last game before the team returns home for Christmas and a mini holiday break with their families, the Montreal Canadiens have strung up a couple of wins together before they face off against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.
The Canadiens (16-15-4), who were shut out in the NHL100 Classic 3-0 last Saturday in Ottawa, travelled first to Vancouver where a high-scoring affair saw them come out ahead by a 7-5 score over the struggling Canucks on Tuesday evening.
Last night they were in Calgary against a Flames team that had beaten the Habs back in Montreal 3-2 in overtime on December 7.
This time however it was Montreal that came out ahead 3-2 by yet another solid game by the team’s fourth line of Daniel Carr, Nicolas Deslauriers and Byron Froese. Froese got the Canadiens on the board first with his first as a Canadien, and third career goal, then assisted on Deslaurier’s fourth (and third in two games) before Brendan Gallagher’s team-leading 14th put them ahead three minutes into the third, finishing a great play by forward Arturri Lekhonen, who returned to the lineup after missing the last 16 games with an upper-body injury.
Calgary didn’t go down easy as Matthew Tkachuk’s eighth of the season with just under two to play made the game a one-goal game. Carey Price, starting his 12th straight game since returning to the lineup, made 21 saves for his 11th win of the season.
This evening they will play an Oilers squad that beat up on the Canadiens 6-2 in Montreal back on December 9. The Oilers (16-17-2) have disappointed many this season, currently second-to-last in the Western Conference. This comes a year after phenom and team captain Connor McDavid took home his first Art Ross, Hart Memorial and Ted Lindsay Trophies at the NHL Awards back in June. Although tied currently for fourth in NHL scoring with 41 points, McDavid has a large lead over the next top point getters on the Oilers squad with forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl both with 26 points, and Milan Lucic right behind them with 25.
How to watch
Puck drop: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In Canada: Sportsnet (English), TVAS (French)
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL GameCentre Live, NHL Center Ice
Tale of the Tape
|1-2-0||H2H Record (2016/17)||2-1-0|
Montreal currently finds themselves four points out of a wild card spot looking towards the post-season as the Boston Bruins have moved ahead of the second wild card spot in the third automatic berth in the Atlantic Division.
They are also a team struggling to get points from a lot of their key players. Forward Phillip Danault currently is atop the Canadiens points chart with 21 points through 35 games. There is then a three-way tie between Gallagher, captain Max Pacioretty and Alex Galchenyuk. Pacioretty did score less than a minute into the game against Calgary but it was waved off after they found Paul Byron offside. Coming off four straight seasons of 30+ goals, the captain from New Canaan, Connecticut only has eight this season, with only one in his last 17 games.
The Oilers are now sitting on a three-game winning streak for the first time this season, and are five points out of a wild card spot.
These two teams always seem to put on a show when they face off against each other. Hopefully this evening’s game won’t disappoint, and only one winning streak will continue.