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

Martin St-Louis has return to his old reliable top line as he seeks consecutive wins.

Montreal Canadiens v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens @ Colorado Avalanche

How to watch

Start time: **8:00 PM EST / 5:00 PM PST**
In Canada: Sportsnet (English)
In the Canadiens region: RDS (French)
In the Avalanche region: Altitude Sports

Samuel Montembeault had an excellent performance on Monday night to earn two points for the Canadiens, starting off their three-game pre-Christmas road trip on the right foot. It seems stellar play from the netminders is necessary for the Habs to earn victories now, as many of their recent wins have been directly due to how Montembeault or Jake Allen fared in net.

Allen gets the call for the this one, and normally it would be a nearly impossible ask for him — or any goaltender — to steal two points from the Colorado Avalanche, but the Canadiens catch the defending Stanley Cup champions with some key injuries at forward. The biggest absences are Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog, leaving only Mikko Rantanen of their fearsome top line in the lineup. Not surprisingly, the Avs haven’t looked like their dominant selves with those absences, but they do come into this game having won four of their past five contests with a makeshift lineup.

Montreal’s top trio is once more back together as Martin St-Louis has desperately tried to spread offence around his alignment and then been forced to settle back into a line of Cole Caufield, Nick Suzuki, and Kirby Dach when those three players just don’t have the same impact when they’re apart. They have the ability to win the game on their own with a handful of goals, and that’s really all the coach has for an offensive game plan given the current makeup of his roster.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
#22 Cole Caufield #14 Nick Suzuki #77 Kirby Dach
#63 Evgenii Dadonov #28 Christian Dvorak #68 Mike Hoffman
#20 Juraj Slafkovský #27 Jonathan Drouin #17 Josh Anderson
#90 Anthony Richard #71 Jake Evans #40 Joel Armia

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
#44 Joel Edmundson #21 Kaiden Guhle
$54 Jordan Harris #26 Johnny Kovacevic
#72 Arber Xhekaj #6 Chris Wideman

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
#34 Jake Allen #35 Samuel Montembeault

Scratched: Michael Pezzetta
Injured: Paul Byron, Brendan Gallagher, Mike Matheson, Sean Monahan, David Savard

Colorado Avalanche projected lineup

Defencemen

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Artturi Lehkonrn J.T. Compher Mikko Rantanen
Alex Newhook Evan Rodrigues Valeri Nichushkin
Denis Malgin Ben Meyers Logan O'Connor
Kurtis MacDermid Martin Kaut Jacob MacDonald

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Devon Toews Cale Makar
Samuel Girard Erik Johnson
Andreas Englund Brad Hunt

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
Alexandar Georgiev Pavel Francouz