Montreal Canadiens vs. Anaheim Ducks
How to watch
Start time: 7:30 PM EST / 4:30 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Ducks region: KCOP-13
Elsewhere: NHL.tv / Rogers NHL Live
As time drained away in the third period of Sunday’s game versus the Edmonton Oilers with Montreal trailing by a goal, they were facing the prospect of getting just a single point from the Super Bowl matinee double bill against two teams outside of the playoff picture.
But that’s not how things played out in the end. Jesperi Kotkaniemi twisted the plot, tying the game with some quick hands, Jonathan Drouin then won it in overtime with his quick feet, and the Canadiens claimed three of the four points available to them coming off a prolonged bye week.
One last non-playoff team heads into the Bell Centre tonight before the competition ramps back up. The Anaheim Ducks aren’t completely out of the playoff race in the Western Conference, but the NHL’s coldest team is showing few signs of getting the engine restarted in time for a late push.
The Ducks fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 6-1 score on Monday, and that after a 9-3 debacle in Winnipeg to start off the Canadian tour they’re currently on. John Gibson was spared from having to play the whole 60 minutes in front of a listless team on both occasions, watching on as what started as a Vezina Trophy-worthy season has gone the same way as his team’s post-season hopes.
Tale of the Tape
|1-1-0||H2H Record (17-18)||1-1-0|
|54.1% (4th)||Corsi-for pct.||46.7% (29th)|
|2.98 (14th)||Goals per game||2.26 (31st)|
|2.92 (12th)||Goals against per game||3.02 (16th)|
|13.1% (30th)||PP%||14.4% (29th)|
|78.6% (22nd)||PK%||79.4% (18th)|
Tonight will be the first meeting between the two teams this year, wrapping up the season series when Montreal embarks on its California road trip in early March. The teams last played about one year ago, when Montreal earned a 5-2 home win over an undisciplined Ducks team. Montreal scored three power-play goals on the seven opportunities Anaheim handed them for one of just a handful of victories after the 2018 All-Star Game.
It was perhaps a bit of justice given the result in the first game of the year when Montreal managed just two goals despite firing 51 shots at Gibson in just one part of what was a frustrating start to the season that never got turned around.
Going into game 54 of the 2018-19 season, the Canadiens are just seven points back of the 71 they had last year, with the added benefit of deploying the skilled centreman that poor record garnered. It’s a new-look, younger, faster Habs team than the one the Ducks last faced, and that’s going to pose more problems for an older team in desperate need of a positive result.