There were times when the Montreal Canadiens appeared to be completely outmatched in Saturday afternoon’s game versus the Boston Bruins. The division rival pounced on a tired Habs team, especially in the periods with the long change. The second of those was in a three-on-three overtime session in which Montreal didn’t have much control of the puck, but did come away in possession of a point. It was their seventh consecutive game of accomplishing that feat.
The team can thank Antti Niemi for helping to get them to that mark, as his 48 saves were crucial to getting the Habs to overtime in the game.
The Habs have now had two days off to recover, but they will have to play tonight’s contest without the man who held the fort in the last game. Niemi is dealing with an injury, and that has meant the team has turned to Zachary Fucale to serve as half of tonight’s goaltending tandem.
Charlie Lindgren will likely be the one called to face the New Jersey Devils. He followed up a rare shutout loss last week with a victory over the New York Islanders on Friday, and will look to create a three-game streak of earning at least one point in the standings of his own.
How to watch
Puck drop: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In Canada: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Devils region: MSG+
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL GameCentre Live, NHL Center Ice
Tale of the Tape
To do that he will need to limit the offence of Taylor Hall, and that has proved impossible over the last 25 games for any goaltender facing the former Oilers first overall pick. In a run that stretches back to the start of the calendar year, he has 36 points in that span, and is also currently on a four-game goal-scoring streak.
The Devils haven’t been getting much offence other than what Hall has been producing, however. Despite him having four goals in the last four games, the team as a whole has just eight. Hall is tied with Alex Ovechkin for 10th in the Art Ross race with 72 points, yet his closest teammate, rookie Nico Hischier, has just 41 points.
That second-place total from the Swiss player would lead the Canadiens this year. In fact, Hall’s production over his point streak alone would rank fourth on the Habs’ leaderboard.
The low-scoring nature of both teams was on display in their first meeting of the season, with each side only able to score once in regulation before Tomas Plekanec won it in overtime. There’s little reason to believe tonight’s game won’t see a similar scoreline.