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Canadiens vs. Avalanche: Game thread, rosters, lines, and how to watch

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Montreal hosts red-hot Colorado, hoping to stop their streak

Montreal Canadiens v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Montreal Canadiens are starting up another week of hockey and for the first time in a while, they’re not playing the Boston Bruins, the second hottest team in the league right now. Instead, however, they’re playing the hottest team in the entire National Hockey League, the Colorado Avalanche.

The Canadiens (19-22-6) have been struggling as of late, with just one win in their last five games. And, with three losses to Boston alone last week, things are seemingly going from bad to worse for the Habs.

After announcing that All-Star blueliner Shea Weber won’t be back until after the All-Star break, the team also confirmed Andrew Shaw will also be out the same amount of time. Shaw is one of only five current Habs with over 10 goals this season.

Tonight at the Bell Centre they are hosting the red-hot Colorado Avalanche (27-16-3), who have won 10 straight games, and haven’t lost since December 27, a 3-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes. They are playing the second half of a back-to-back where they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 last night. Blake Comeau’s ninth goal of the season with just over eight minutes left in the game proved to be the game winner. Goaltender Jonathan Bernier, playing against his former team, got his ninth win in a row.

The season has been a resurgence for the Avalanche, coming off a season last year where they only won 22 games all year.

This year, the 2013 first overall pick Nathan MacKinnon has been leading the surge for the young Colorado team. His 23 goals are just one off from tying his career high set in his rookie season, and four points off tying that season mark of 63. He still has 36 games to go in the season. It’s also worth noting he is just two goals shy of 100 in his career.

Although these two teams don’t often face off against each other, it is worth noting that the one time these two teams faced off against each other last season in Montreal, it was a Canadiens free for all. By the time the game was just 14 minutes old, the Habs were up 6-0. They wound up taking the game by a score of 10-1. Captain Max Pacioretty, who has been surging for Montreal right now, led the charge in that game, with four goals and an assist for a memorable evening.

Pacioretty has been trying to take the Canadiens on his back of late, with seven goals in his last seven games.

The next time they did face off against each other though, it was all Colorado, as they shut the door on Montreal 4-0. Mikko Rantanen, who has 47 points in 46 games this season, had his first career NHL hat trick, and Calvin Pickard recorded the shutout.

Can Montreal prevail against Colorado tonight and end their streak?

Puck drop is at 7:30 PM EST / 4:30 PM PST

How to watch

In Canada: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Avalanche region: ALT
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL GameCentre Live, NHL Center Ice

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Max Pacioretty Paul Byron Charles Hudon
Alex Galchenyuk Jonathan Drouin Nicolas Deslauriers
Artturi Lehkonen Tomas Plekanec Brendan Gallagher
Jacob de la Rose Byron Froese Logan Shaw

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Karl Alzner Jeff Petry
Jordie Benn Jakub Jerabek
Victor Mete David Schlemko

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Carey Price
Antti Niemi

Scratches: Daniel Carr, Joe Morrow

Injuries: Shea Weber (foot), Philip Danault (concussion), Andrew Shaw (lower body), Ales Hemsky (concussion-like symptoms)

Colorado Avalanche projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Gabriel Landeskog Nathan MacKinnon Mikko Rantanen
Dominic Toninato Alexander Kerfoot Nail Yakupov
Blake Comeau Carl Soderberg Matthew Nieto
Gabriel Bourque Tyson Jost J.T. Compher

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Nikita Zadorov Erik Johnson
Patrik Nemeth Mark Barberio
Samuel Girard Anton Lindholm

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Jonathan Bernier
Andrew Hammond