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Canadiens vs. Avalanche: Game thread, rosters, lines, and how to watch

The Avalanche roll into Montreal for the first time in nearly two years.

Colorado Avalanche v Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens vs. Colorado Avalanche

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Avalanche region: ALT
Streaming: ESPN+, NHL Live, RDS Direct, TSN Direct

It’s been some time since hockey fans in Montreal saw the likes of Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar at the Bell Centre. The last time was almost two years ago on December 5, 2019. Many of Colorado’s star players are still with the team, while the Habs now look significantly different.

Montreal will have just three forwards and three defencemen from that previous meeting in the lineup, with the rest no longer with the team, dealing with injuries, or, as Brendan Gallagher now is, in COVID protocol. Gallagher is joined on that list by Sami Niku today, and now we’ll have to wait and hope no more players get added in the coming days.

With the absence of Gallagher, Dominique Ducharme has shifted the lines around out of necessity and not just desperation tonight. Jake Evans will play with Nick Suzuki and Artturi Lehkonen, while Cole Caufield gets bumped down to what you can call the fourth line with Michael Pezzetta, but will benefit from the return of Mathieu Perreault, who had been playing well for the Habs before sustaining an eye injury. That trio might just bring a bit more to the table than one might expect from the final line ... provided the olayers see the ice.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Artturi Lehkonen Nick Suzuki Jake Evans
Tyler Toffoli Christian Dvorak Josh Anderson
Jonathan Drouin Ryan Poehling Joel Armia
Michael Pezzetta Mathieu Perreault Cole Caufield

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Brett Kulak Jeff Petry
Ben Chiarot David Savard
Alexander Romanov Chris Wideman

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
Jake Allen Samuel Montembeault

Colorado Avalanche projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Gabriel Landeskog Nathan MacKinnon Mikko Rantanen
Valeri Nichushkin Nazem Kadri Andre Burakovsky
Nicolas Aube-Kubel Alex Newhook Logan O'Connor
Darren Helm Tyson Jost Jayson Megna

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Devon Toews Cale Makar
Samuel Girard Erik Johnson
Jack Johnson Kurtis MacDermid

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
Jonas Johansson Justus Annunen