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

Montreal welcomes back former captain Max Pacioretty to the Bell Centre.

NHL: Vegas Golden Knights at Montreal Canadiens Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens vs. Vegas Golden Knights

How to watch

Puck drop: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: Sportsnet, Sportsnet Now (English), TVAS (French)
In the Golden Knights region: ATTSN-RM
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/Rogers NHL Live

Max is back. And no, I’m not referring to surging Canadiens forward Max Domi, I’m referring to former Habs winger Max Pacioretty, who after 10 seasons playing for the red, white and blue, returns to Montreal as a visitor for the first time in his career.

The transition for Pacioretty hasn’t been an easy one, notching only a couple of goals in 12 games thus far this season for the Vegas in this season. When he was traded back in the early hours of September 10, the price was a hefty one for Golden Knights general manger George McPhee. He sent over Slovak forward Tomas Tatar, prospect Nick Suzuki and a second-round pick in 2019.

The return of Tatar, who split last season between Vegas and the Detroit Red Wings, had 20 goals and 34 points through all 82 games last season, whereas currently this season with Montreal, the 27-year-old has six goals and 14 points through the team’s first 19 games.

The Canadiens (8-5-3) have had a bit of a roller coaster this season, dropping their last two games, despite scoring eight goals. Their last contest on Thursday evening saw them put up a five-spot against the Buffalo Sabres, but it wasn’t enough as a goal by Finnish defender Rasmus Ristolainen got past all-star goaltender Carey Price.

Price (5-4-3) has been 1-3-1 in his last five games, while also giving up 22 goals in the process. Head coach Claude Julien will give the Olympian the night off versus Vegas, rather opting to go with backup goaltender Antti Niemi (3-1) between the pipes on Saturday night.

One of the bright spots for the Canadiens this season has been the play of Domi. After a very disappointing season last year in the desert, he potted only nine goals (four of which were empty netters). This season alone, he has already matched his total input for goals, and has been only held off the scoresheet three times through the first quarter of the season.

The Golden Knights (7-8-1) have split this week’s games, dropping a 3-1 decision against Toronto on Tuesday, and winning 5-3 against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

Their Cinderella story may have just been that, as they currently sit 13th in the Western Conference, a year removed from making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Leading the way for them this season in goals (seven) and points (14) is centre Jonathan Marschessault, who last year racked up 27 goals and a career-high 75 points.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Tomas Tatar Phillip Danault Brendan Gallagher
Jonathan Drouin Max Domi Andrew Shaw
Kenny Agostino Jesperi Kotkaniemi Artturi Lehkonen
Nicolas Deslauriers Matthew Peca Charles Hudon

Defensemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Jordie Benn Jeff Petry
Mikey Reilly Karl Alzner
David Schlemko Victor Mete

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Antti Niemi
Carey Price

Vegas Golden Knights projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Jonathan Marschessault William Karlsson Reilly Smith
Max Pacioretty Cody Eakin Alex Tuch
Tomas Nosek Ryan Carpenter Tomas Hyka
Will Carrier Pierre-Edouard Bellemare Ryan Reaves

Defensemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Brayden McNabb Colin Miller
Shea Theodore Nick Holden
Jon Merrill Brad Hunt

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Marc-Andre Fleury
Malcolm Subban