It seems as though the Montreal Canadiens have become resurgent in the last couple of weeks, taking home their last five games before their streak was halted on Tuesday against the surging St. Louis Blues. This evening, they face a team that has been heading in the opposite direction, as the Calgary Flames come into town.
The Canadiens (13-13-3) were arguably one of the hottest teams, rolling down opponents throughout their five-game streak, outscoring them 24-6, including a 10-1 destruction of the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.
The game featured offence from everybody up and down the lineup with only one forward, Max Pacioretty, not getting on the scoresheet. Paul Byron recorded his first career NHL hat trick in the win. The Habs also got offence from their fourth line: Nicolas Deslauriers, Jacob de la Rose, and Daniel Carr each had a goal and two assists. Carey Price backstopped Montreal to another victory.
However on Tuesday night, they faced a Blues team that finds themselves near the top of the Western Conference. Although they got all three goals from their blue line — two from Shea Weber and one by Jordie Benn — they ran into Brayden Schenn who potted his third career hat trick, and the Habs lost 4-3.
Brendan Gallagher, who notched career goal number 100 on Saturday versus Detroit, will look to continue leading the team. His 13 goals and 19 points are tops in Montreal.
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Tale of the Tape
On paper, it appears as though this should be a close matchup. Both teams are looking to get further up the standings, but who will take the game will be anybody's guess.
The Flames (14-12-2) have been struggling as of late, dropping four of their past five games and finding themselves on the outside of the post-season picture, currently in ninth place in the Western Conference.
They had a hard-fought battle in their most recent contest, a 2-1 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs; their second defeat against the Leafs in just over a week.
The Flames were getting their chances, outshooting the Leafs 48-29, but goaltender Frederik Andersen was nearly lights out. Every Flame had at least one shot on net, and only Mark Giordano was able to hit the net behind him.
Johnny Gaudreau has been one of the league's hottest players this season, and he will hope to continue his dominance. He currently sits third in the NHL scoring race with 12 goals and 36 games. Only teammate Sean Monahan has more goals with 15. Last season, in the second game between the Habs and Flames, Gaudreau had a goal and three helpers in his team's 5-0 shutout win.
Montrealers may get their last chance to see future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr in person at the Bell Centre should he get the call to play.
We’ll see if Montreal can make the most of their last three home games before going on a seven game road trip to close out the 2017 calendar year.