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

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Montreal gets a mulligan for a bad performance on Wednesday.

Calgary Flames v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens vs. Calgary Flames

How to watch

Start time: **6:00 PM EDT / 3:00 PM PDT**
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Flames region: Sportsnet West
Streaming: NHL.tv/NHL Live, RDS Direct, Sportsnet Now

This 41st game of the season is simply the mark of the end of the first half of an NHL campaign in a typical year. In 2020-21, it falls late in the year, with the playoffs just weeks away.

The Calgary Flames, with more games played than the team they’re chasing and still several points back, recognized the urgency of their situation and have respnded with wins over three different rivals with superior records in their last three contests. They have to win the vast majority of the games remaining on their schedule, and over the past week they’ve been making that happen.

If they were to pull off the improbable and make the playoffs, it would be the Canadiens they leapfrog in the standings late in the year to steal a playoff spot. You can regard what is a run of five games between the two teams over a 13-day span as an early playoff series, though Montreal still has full control over its own destiny. They can probably split the remaining four games between the two teams and block the Flames’ path with just a mediocre record versus everyone else. Every loss the rest of the way is a significant blow for Calgary, and tonight’s the perfect time to crush a few spirits.

To boost the sense of urgency for Montreal, the team introduced a shark to the waters today with a call-up of Cole Caufield. The message seems clear enough: he’s pounding on the door for a roster spot, and the only way he gets that is to take someone else’s. Another poor showing from one of the forwards could be their last one for some time.

As for other lineup changes, Carey Price isn’t ready to go just yet, so Cayden Primeau is back up on an emergency recall. The Canadiens must still have a few vials of Max Pacioretty blood in the medical room, however, because just 31 days after having surgery on a broken finger, Ben Chiarot is healed and ready to reclaim his spot next to Shea Weber. That means yet another partner for Alexander Romanov — Wednesday’s lone goal-scorer Brett Kulak — and we’ll see if an altered defence can do a better job of protecting the slot and advancing the puck to motivated forwards.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Tomas Tatar Phillip Danault Paul Byron
Jonathan Drouin Jesperi Kotkaniemi Josh Anderson
Tyler Toffoli Nick Suzuki Joel Armia
Artturi Lehkonen Eric Staal Corey Perry

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Joel Edmundson Jeff Petry
Ben Chiarot Shea Weber
Alexander Romanov Brett Kulak

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
Jake Allen Cayden Primeau

Scratched: Jake Evans
Injured: Brendan Gallagher (broken thumb), Carey Price (lower-body)
COVID unavailable list: Erik Gustafsson, Jon Merrill

Calgary Flames projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Johnny Gaudreau Elias Lindholm Matthew Tkachuk
Andrew Mangiapane Sean Monahan Dillon Dube
Milan Lucic Mikael Backlund Joakim Nordstrom
Josh Leivo Derek Ryan Brett Ritchie

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Mark Giordano Chris Tanev
Noah Hanifin Rasmus Andersson
Juuso Valimaki Michael Stone

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
Jacob Markstrom Louis Domingue