How to watch
Start time: 7:30 PM EST / 4:30 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Red Wings region: Fox Sports-Detroit
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/Rogers NHL Live
Seeking to make amends for that 7-1 debacle in their last matchup, the Canadiens put up a better fight last night, but eventually succumbed to the Minnesota Wild 1-0 in a spirited but highly sloppy affair. There’s no rest for the weary though, as the Habs now pack their bags and embark on a short two-game road trip. Fortunately, they will have captain Shea Weber along with them after he took a puck to the face in the first period versus Minnesota. He will likely be a game-time decision tonight.
Tale of the Tape
|54.3% (4th)||Corsi-for pct.||46.9% (28th)|
|3.00 (13th)||Goals per game||2.77 (24th)|
|3.09 (21st)||Goals against per game||3.32 (26th)|
|12.8% (31st)||PP%||17.0% (21st)|
|78.3% (19th)||PK%||78.2% (20th)|
The Red Wings are well below the contenders in the Atlantic Division, sitting a mere four points ahead of the league-worst Ottawa Senators with one extra game played. Somewhat surprisingly for a divisional rival, the Habs and the Wings met only once in the first half of the season: a 7-3 decision for the Canadiens in the second week of the schedule which happened to be Tomas Plekanec’s 1000th game in the Tricolore. That game also brought the Canadiens’ offensive depth to the fore, as all four lines contributed at least one goal — including Plekanec’s final tally as a Hab — to the seven that the home team put on the board.
For the Red Wings, not much has changed between then and now. In October, they entered the Bell Centre — and left it — winless. Now, the Canadiens travel to Little Caesars Arena to face a home side that has five wins in 19 games since December 1. The silver lining to this futility is that Dylan Larkin is in the midst of establishing himself as the possible future of this storied franchise, having already eclipsed his 82-game goal total of last season and notching 19 points in his last 17 games.
The problem for Detroit is not so much putting pucks in the net, but keeping pucks out. Jimmy Howard is doing the best he can, but the fact that his GAA is 2.78 despite a fairly good save percentage of .917 shows how many chances the Wings give up on your average night. In contrast, Carey Price has a GAA of 2.76 despite a below-average .907 save percentage.
The Wings currently sit bottom-five in the league in terms of shot attempts, shots, scoring chances, and high-danger chances allowed — meaning that the Montreal offence should have a chance to stretch their legs a bit after being smothered by the Nashville blue-line quartet on Saturday night.
The Habs head into Detroit on a two-game losing streak having only scored once during that spell. Fans, management, and players alike will be hoping that a porous Detroit defence will cure what ails the Canadiens and gets the team back on track.