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

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The Habs try to avoid going into a four-day break on a three-game losing streak.

Edmonton Oilers v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens have lost two straight one-goal games and will look to get back on the winning track when they take on the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday night.

Coming off the heels of five straight wins, the Habs’ two losses to the St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames have brought to the surface the memories of the team’s poor start to the season.

The Habs have become a team with two distinct personalities: sometimes they dominate puck possession and generate shots from dangerous areas seemingly at will while at other times they lack scoring, combativeness, and confidence. Over the course of the last seven games, the line between the two personalities is getting blurred.

On Thursday evening, the good Canadiens team started the game against Calgary, but in the third period, after the Flames tied the score at 2-2, the listless version showed up. It will be up to the players on the ice and coaches behind the bench to ensure the better iteration shows up to play on Saturday.

How to watch

Puck drop: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In Canada: Sportsnet (English), TVA Sports (French)
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL GameCentre Live, NHL Centre Ice

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistic Oilers
Canadiens Statistic Oilers
13-13-4 Record 11-15-2
1-0-1 H2H Record (16-17) 1-1-0
51.5% Corsi-for pct. 53.6%
83 Goals for 80
93 Goals against 96
0.97 5v5 goal ratio 0.95
17.3% PP% 16.67%
78.78% PK% 76.3%

Meanwhile, the Edmonton Oilers have been hovering near the bottom of the Pacific Division for the majority of the year, struggling to improve on their performance in 2016-17. The Oil have lost six of their last 10 games, including their last match on Wednesday night.

Connor McDavid is lighting up goal lamps around the league despite playing on a mediocre team. The phenom’s stat line reads 11-22—33 after 28 games. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Leon Draisaitl each have 20 points on the year, which is more than the Habs’ best offensive player, Brendan Gallagher, who has but 19 points.

Should the Habs have not experienced their recent five-game winning streak, the matchup against the Oilers could’ve been a meeting of two bad teams, which can sometimes result in a comical outburst of offence. Neither team is running hot, so it’s still a possibility, but it’s probably more likely both teams will try hard not to give up extra points and play conservatively.

Saturday night will be a chance for Bell Centre attendees to see former first-overall draft pick Connor McDavid this season. More importantly, playing against a weak opponent like Edmonton should help make Montreal’s task of winning a little less daunting.