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Canadiens @ Maple Leafs: Pre-season game preview, start time, and how to watch

A few young players tries to make impressions in competitive action with NHL spots on the table.

Montreal Canadiens v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Seven Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images

Pre-season: Montreal Canadiens @ Toronto Maple Leafs

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PM PDT
In Canada: Sportsnet One
In the Canadiens region: RDS
In the US: NHL Network
Streaming: Sportsnet Now, RDS Direct, NHL.tv/NHL Live

Three-and-a-half months since the Canadiens played in the final game of the 2020-21 season, they’re gearing up to begin another campaign. This one could look very different, with several key departures from the squad that made the Stanley Cup Final.

The largest turnover was seen at centre, and that has elevated Nick Suzuki to the top spot in the order. His line with Tyler Toffoli on the left and Calder Trophy hopeful Cole Caufield on the right will be the main focus of every opponent the Habs face this year.

That turnover also means a legitimate shot for Ryan Poehling to crack the opening-night roster after a very good season in the AHL. He’ll get a chance to build up some chemistry with Artturi Lehkonen on tonight’s second line.

On defence we’ll see how Alexander Romanov fares with Montreal’s top defenceman, Jeff Petry, while Joel Edmundson tends to an injury, and also get to see promising prospect Gianni Fairbrother alongside Brett Kulak.

The Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t sending many of their top players onto the ice this evening, but they will see the first game from John Tavares since his injury in the first-round series versus Montreal. He’ll play with new addition Josh Ho-Sang, who’s hoping to finally earn an NHL spot.

The most dangerous line could prove to be that of Nick Robertson, Michael Amadio, and William Nylander, with two offensive wingers. Nylander, of course, was the star of the Leafs’ roster in that playoff series, doing his best to drag the club to a rare first-round victory.

The result of the game doesn’t matter, but to several players this is one of only two or three chances to show they deserve a place on the NHL team. It’s those players who could shine the brightest in the first competitive action of the 2021-22 season.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#73 Tyler Toffoli #14 Nick Suzuki #22 Cole Caufield
#62 Artturi Lehkonen #25 Ryan Poehling #45 Laurent Dauphin
#85 Mathieu Perreault #13 Cédric Paquette #60 Alex Belzile
#81 Brandon Baddock #86 Jean-Christophe Beaudin #42 Lukas Vejdemo

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#27 Alexander Romanov #26 Jeff Petry
#77 Brett Kulak #36 Gianni Fairbrother
#61 Xavier Ouellet #63 Arber Xhekaj

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
#30 Cayden Primeau #70 Michael McNiven

Toronto Maple Leafs projected lineup