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Canadiens @ Hurricanes: Game thread, Tale of the Tape, line, and how to watch

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The Canadiens ride their hot streak into Raleigh.

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens @ Carolina Hurricanes

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PM PDT
In Canada: Sportsnet, Sportsnet Now (English), APTN (Plains Cree)
In the Canadiens region: RDS, RDS Direct (French)
In the Hurricanes region: Fox Sports Carolina
Elsewhere: NHL.tv / Rogers NHL Live

A loss to the New York Islanders on March 14 looked to be a devastating one for the Montreal Canadiens. A great showing versus the Chicago Blackhawks didn’t result in a victory either, making the playoffs look like too lofty a goal for the team.

The Canadiens decided to build upon the effort and not dwell on the result from that game versus Chicago. Since then they’ve reeled off three consecutive victories, which they hadn’t achieved since the beginning of March when they were battling for an Atlantic Division seed. A rough month dropped them down the order, but the current run has them in a different, more vital battle for a wild-card spot to stay in the playoff picture.

Currently occupying the second wild-card position, the Canadiens are now just a few points clear of the Columbus Blue Jackets in ninth, but also within striking distance of the Carolina Hurricanes above.

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistic Hurricanes
Canadiens Statistic Hurricanes
40-28-7 Record 41-26-7
1-1-0 H2H Record 1-1-0
54.3% (3rd) Corsi-for pct. 54.7% (2nd)
2.99 (15th) Goals per game 2.99 (16th)
2.89 (13th) Goals against per game 2.74 (8th)
12.6% (31st) PP% 16.7% (24th)
80.5% (16th) PK% 81.6% (8th)
L-L-W-W-W Form L-W-W-L-W

The Habs will play the Hurricanes this evening in another important game as the season comes to a close. In a four-point contest, a loss would move Carolina too far ahead to catch over the remainder of the season. A win moves Montreal into a points tie with the Metropolitan team and a legitimate chance to finish as the first wild-card team, thereby avoiding a first-round matchup with the powerhouse Tampa Bay Lightning.

Montreal had fared very well in the season series with the Hurricanes. Despite losing the first game on November 27 by a 2-1 score, they outshot Carolina 49-22. A .980 save percentage from Curtis McElhinney was the difference for his team. Montreal also enjoyed an edge in shots when they met at the Bell Centre on December 13. This time it was a slugfest between the two teams, with nine even-strength goals scored in the first 56 minutes before Jeff Petry hit an empty net for a 6-4 victory.

Strong possession has been the hallmark of the Hurricanes for several seasons now, but the goal-scoring hadn’t come with all the shots they were able to muster. This year they’re finally hitting that important three-goals-per-game average after years of being about half a goal per game short of that mark.

Helping them reach that level is a career year from the 21-year-old Sebastian Aho, already with new highs in goals and assists. Teuvo Teravainen has also blossomed in Carolina since his trade from the Blackhawks, and is just below a point-per-game pace for the team. The second overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, Andrei Svechnikov is having a great rookie season with 19 goals and 35 points, injecting a sizable portion of offence without the team needed to part with a roster player.

Nino Niederreiter is proving to be a significant upgrade on Victor Rask since joining the team in mid-January, already with 12 goals and 12 assists with Carolina. At the time of that trade, the Hurricanes were averaging 2.70 goals per game. In the 28 games he’s been on the team, that average is 3.46. It’s proving to be a truly inspired transaction for Don Waddell and his analytics department; perhaps the best in-season trade in the NHL this season.

It’s therefore a good thing that this current three-game winning streak for Montreal has come with a burst of offence that had been lacking for nearly a month. Max Domi and Tomas Tatar are also in the running for the best trade additions made since the previous season ended. Brendan Gallagher has followed up a career year with one that’s even better, playing a big role in last night’s win with two goals to bring his season total to 33.

We could very well be in for another high-scoring affair tonight, and the Canadiens will be eager to come out on top.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Tomas Tatar Phillip Danault Brendan Gallagher
Artturi Lehkonen Max Domi Andrew Shaw
Jonathan Drouin Jesperi Kotkaniemi Joel Armia
Paul Byron Nate Thompson Jordan Weal

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Victor Mete Shea Weber
Brett Kulak Jeff Petry
Jordie Benn Christian Folin

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Carey Price
Antti Niemi

Carolina Hurricanes projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Nino Niederreiter Sebastian Aho Justin Williams
Andrei Svechnikov Jordan Staal Teuvo Teravainen
Micheal Ferland Lucas Wallmark Jordan Martinook
Warren Foegele Greg McKegg Brock McGinn

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Jaccob Slavin Dougie Hamilton
Brett Pesce Justin Faulk
Calvin de Haan Trevor van Riemsdyk

Goaltenders

Goaltenders
Goaltenders
Curtis McElhinney
Petr Mrazek