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Canadiens vs. Canucks: Start time, Tale of the Tape, lineups, and how to watch

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Montreal tries to knock off Vancouver in convincing fashion once more.

NHL: FEB 01 Canucks at Canadiens Photo by Vincent Ethier/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens vs. Vancouver Canucks

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Canucks region: Sportsnet Pacific
Streaming: NHL.tv/NHL Live, RDS Direct, Sportsnet Now, TSN Direct

As expected, the Canadiens were eager to hear the Bell Centre’s goal horn last night after going the previous game without. It blared for the first time just a minute in as Nick Suzuki’s line drove to the net, with the centreman being the one to get the credit. Before the night was done, it resounded in the Bell Centre five more times.

Offence came from everywhere. A member of each forward line had a goal, and Jeff Petry represented the defence with a two-goal, one-assist night to raise his season total to 11 and move into a tie atop the league’s defencemen scoring race. The Habs also got goals in all situations, with one of the top plays of the night being Artturi Lehkonen’s short-handed marker.

Considering that the Canucks had just played a series in which they outscored the Ottawa Senators 16-3, it was a significant loss for a team that should have been brimming with confidence. Instead, the feeling will be one of despair as Montreal scored another batch of goals to sit at 23 in just four games versus Vancouver. Those differing levels of confidence will be significant factors when the two teams face off again tonight.

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistic Canucks
Canadiens Statistic Canucks
6-1-2 Record 6-6-0
54.5% (4th) Corsi-for pct. 46.8% (27th)
4.33 (1st) Goals per game 3.42 (11th)
2.56 (9th) Goals against per game 3.58 (27th)
26.5% (12th) PP% 13.6% (24th)
80.5% (12th) PK% 78.9% (17th)
3-0-1 Head-to-head 1-3-0

Canucks head coach Travis Green anticipated this situation before the series began, going with Braden Holtby for the first game instead of Thatcher Demko, who has allowed just one goal in each of his last three starts. You can bet Demko will be busy tonight for a team burning through its complement of 56 games at the highest rate in the league, already up to its 13th.

Montreal will have little fear of Vancouver’s number one, just seeing a slightly different shape trying to get between them and more goals. So far, only Jacob Markstrom has been successful in that challenge, and the Canucks decided in the off-season that they weren’t interested in retaining those services. Demko is strong enough in his own right, and showed some good form in the post-season, but he’s already seen the Habs celebrate seven times in front of him this season.

As for lineup changes, Demko will be facing Montreal’s other goalie, Jake Allen, who will play his second game in four days after a good outing on Saturday, but one that wasn’t good enough to earn the victory. No changes are anticipated for Montreal’s forward corps as Joel Armia has just resumed skating as part of his recovery from a concussion. On defence, a night after Brett Kulak was replaced by Victor Mete, Claude Julien has opened the door to further moves, and it wouldn’t be shocking to see Alexander Romanov step out for the first time this season to let Kulak back in. The rookie’s plays were a bit too forced last night, and a chance to observe a game from above may help him identify better options for the series against the lowly Ottawa Senators.

The Canucks may just shuffle the entire deck trying to come up with a solution to Montreal’s firepower. Top players aren’t producing (and a perfect three-for-three penalty kill from Montreal helped in that regard) while some members of the bottom six were actually among the better players. Spreading the wealth may be the desperate move the coach settles on.

No matter what the plan, Green can’t make more talented players appear on the roster, so Montreal will be the heavy favourite once more.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#90 Tomas Tatar #24 Phillip Danault #11 Brendan Gallagher
#92 Jonathan Drouin #14 Nick Suzuki #17 Josh Anderson
#73 Tyler Toffoli #15 Jesperi Kotkaniemi #94 Corey Perry
#41 Paul Byron #71 Jake Evans #62 Artturi Lehkonen

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#8 Ben Chiarot #6 Shea Weber
#44 Joel Edmundson #26 Jeff Petry
#53 Victor Mete #77 Brett Kulak

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
#34 Jake Allen #31 Carey Price

Vancouver Canucks projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
J.T. Miller Bo Horvat Brock Boeser
Tanner Pearson Elias Pettersson Nils Hoglander
Antoine Roussel Brandon Sutter Adam Gaudette
Tyler Motte Jay Beagle Zack MacEwen

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Quinn Hughes Jordie Benn
Nate Schmidt Tyler Myers
Alexander Edler Jalen Chatfield

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
Thatcher Demko Braden Holtby