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Canadiens @ Flames: Game preview, start time, Tale of the Tape, and how to watch

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After starting the road trip with a victory, the Canadiens look to keep their confidence up as they take on the Flames for the first time this season.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens @ Calgary Flames

How to watch

Start time: 9:00 PM EST / 6:00 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Flames region: Sportsnet West
Streaming: NHL.tv/NHL Live

After a hard-to-watch loss to the bottom-of-the-league Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, the Montreal Canadiens had to quickly abide by Taylor Swift’s wise words and shake it off as they got ready for their long seven-game road trip to close out 2019.

And shake it off they did. Their first opponent was the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night and, despite some questionable officiating that included a goal called back due to Artturi Lehkonen’s “goaltender interference,” the team banded together to start their trek on a winning note. Vancouver may have opened up the scoring in the first period, but it was Nick Cousins who got Montreal on the board in the second, and the power-play unit took it from there.

Let’s hope the Canadiens continue with confidence as they head to the Saddledome tonight to take on the Calgary Flames for the first time this season.

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistic Flames
Canadiens Statistic Flames
16-12-6 Record 18-14-4
2-0-0 H2H Record (18-19) 0-2-0
53.7% (2nd) Corsi-for pct. 50.9% (10th)
3.12 (11th) Goals per game 2.58 (26th)
3.15 (22nd) Goals against per game 3.00 (15th)
21.7% (10th) PP% 17.2% (21st)
75.9% (27th) PK% 84.1% (7th)
W-W-W-L-W Form W-W-W-L-L

The Flames are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and are currently sitting fourth in the Pacific Division. Much like the Canucks did versus the Canadiens, the Flames started off on the right foot by finding the back of the net first on Tuesday night, but that was the one and only time.

Though Calgary had a rough start to the season, they eventually started to find their groove. Even during their last two losses they produced some great scoring chances, but were also up against some great goalies who put a stop to them. Leading point-getter Sean Monahan (10G, 18A) was held off the scoresheet in those two losses, while Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, who are right behind him with 27 points, managed just one point as well.

After head coach Bill Peters resigned on November 29 due to accusations of racial slurs and physical abuse with previous teams, assistant coach Geoff Ward stepped in as interim boss. It seems Ward brought a new style and better energy to the mix, because after the change the Flames went on a wild six-game winning streak.

The Flames have one thing going for them that the Canadiens don’t: no injuries. Well, they have one and he was placed on waivers on Wednesday — Austin Czarnik — who hasn’t suited up with the team since late October due to a lower-body injury. The Habs on the other hand have been missing the services of Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Victor Mete, Paul Byron, and Jonathan Drouin, but some of those players could be starting to make their way back in over the next few matches.

It’s usually a close contest when these two teams meet, with their last four matchups ending in a 3-2 score. Montreal had a season sweep over Calgary last year, winning both contests. Their winning streak over this team actually goes back even further to December 22, 2017 where they took home a 3-2 win as a Christmas present. Might as well bring the streak into another year while they’re at it.

Thanks to their victory over Vancouver, the Canadiens now sit in third place in the Atlantic Division once again. If they can build on their good start and keep their confidence up while on the road, hopefully they can hold on to that spot, or even inch a little higher.