The Montreal Canadiens were triumphant in a crucial weekend back-to-back against the Ottawa Senators, giving themselves some breathing room atop the Atlantic Division. With little time to rest, however, the Habs are back at it tonight with the Detroit Red Wings in town.
While the Habs are rolling with eight wins in their last ten games, things haven’t been going so well for their division rivals in Detroit. The Red Wings are set to miss the playoffs for the first time in a quarter-century, perhaps finally resigned to a rebuild.
The Canadiens, meanwhile, are hitting a rough stretch of schedule as the season winds down. Wins aren’t easy to come by this time of year especially, and with games nearly every-other-night, tonight’s game could be important in building momentum.
How to watch
Puck drop: 7:30 PM EDT / 4:30 PM PDT
In Canada: Sportsnet East (English), RDS (French)
In the United States: FS-D
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL Gamecentre Live, NHL Center Ice
Tale of the Tape
|52.63||Score-Adjusted Corsi %||47.77|
|1.17||5v5 Goal Ratio||0.91|
The Red Wings have been one of the league’s worst-performing teams this season, but they have shown that they can still take control of games in their past two outings. Scoring a combined ten goals over that time, the Red Wings offence is as hot as its been all season, giving the Habs good reason not to take them lightly.
Henrik Zetterberg has been doing the heavy lifting offensively in Detroit this season, as the only Red Wings player with more than 40 points. His 59 on the year is already an improvement on last season’s total, though the veteran isn’t receiving very much help from elsewhere in the lineup.
Leading the Wings in goals is Tomas Tatar, who also happens to be a bit of a hot-hand with five points in the team’s last two games. Still, with just 38 points on the season, he hasn’t been as much of an all-around threat as we’ve seen in the past. Rookie Anthony Mantha has probably been Detroit’s most impressive player other than Zetterberg, putting up 33 points in 53 games.
One of the worst possession teams in the league, Detroit shouldn’t pose too much of a threat to a Habs team that has been rolling lately. Of course, it was the Red Wings who had the upper-hand the last time the clubs faced off in January, blanking the Habs for a 1-0 win. Both teams enter this game on two-game win streaks, but with much more to play for, there should be no shortage of motivation for the Habs to snag two points.