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

Teams with very different goals for the final quarter of the season face off at the Bell Centre tonight.

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Montreal Canadiens Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens were able to snap a six-game losing streak on Thursday night by beating the New York Rangers. With both teams down a few of their best players, the Habs were the team to come away with a 3-1 victory.

Antti Niemi got his third win of the season, all of which have come as member of the Canadiens after stops in Pittsburgh and Florida to begin the year. His save percentage with his current team is now up to .922.

The game also saw the NHL debut of Noah Juulsen, who played very well with Karl Alzner and had several chances to score his first goal. Based on the alignment in practice yesterday, it looks like he will take that place in the lineup once again tonight.

Tomas Plekanec had a goal and an assist in the game to bring his season total to 24 points. With his name mentioned by several parties as the trade deadline looms on Monday, tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning could be the last time the career Hab dons the Canadiens sweater.

How to watch

Puck drop: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In Canada: CityTV (English), TVA Sports (French)
In the Lightning region: SUN
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL GameCentre Live, NHL Center Ice

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistic Panthers
Canadiens Statistic Panthers
25-30-11 Record 32-25-7
1-1-0 H2H Record 1-1-0
51.0% Corsi-for pct. 49.1%
171 Goals for 193
206 Goals against 204
20.2% PP% 19.4%
76.5% PK% 79.3%

The teams have met two times before this season, with the each claiming a win. They last faced off on January 4, trading goals within a 44-second span in the second period before Paul Byron was the only one to score in the shootout.

The Lightning won’t be intentionally holding any stars out of the lineup tonight, so the quest for a second win in as many games for the Canadiens will be more difficult than the first. Noah Juulsen and the rest of the defence corps will get a proper test as they go up against some of the top offensive talents in the NHL.

Leading the way are Steven Stamkos, with 69 points in 61 games, and Nikita Kucherov, who leads the Art Ross race with 80 points and a seven-point edge on Evgeni Malkin in second place.

Tampa Bay lost its spot at the top of the league with yet another win by the Vegas Golden Knights last night, and the they will be eager to get that place back.