Montreal Canadiens @ Vegas Golden Knights
How to watch
Starting off their road trip with a win over what has historically been among their most difficult opponent, you felt that the Canadiens might be in for a run of winning results on their trip through California. After an opening victory over the San Jose Sharks, they stuck with the Los Angeles Kings two night later despite the Kings being a much deeper club, but the Habs had little left in the tank for Friday’s game following the trade deadline, and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Anaheim Ducks.
They can do no better than an even record from this four-game trip, but they arrive in Las Vegas on a full day’s rest after a nervous trade deadline for many players, looking to head back home on a winning note.
First they need to find a way to slow down Jack Eichel, who has six goals in his last six games, versus a sequence of some very strong opponents. Finally healthy after disc surgery, he’s rediscovered his elite form in his second season with his new club, and is registering nearly four shots on target each game. Montreal had dealt with him well in the first several years of his career, not allowing him a single goal in his first 15 run-ins with the Habs, but he has four goals and four assists in the last four.
Tale of the Tape
|43.9% (28th)||Scoring-chances-for %||49.8% (22nd)|
|2.68 (27th)||Goals per game||3.15 (17th)|
|3.56 (26th)||Goals against per game||2.76 (8th)|
|16.5% (30th)||PP%||20.7% (19th)|
|73.9% (28th)||PK%||79.2% (17th)|
When Montreal visited the Golden Knights last season in late January, it was during a stretch of 10 consecutive games away from home as COVID-19 regulations prevented the Habs from having fans at the Bell Centre. The team had just earned its eighth win of the season two days prior, and managed to add another point in a 4-3 overtime loss at T-Mobile Arena. Samuel Montembeault faced 53 shots that night, stealing a rare point for the Canadiens.
The Golden Knights will be turning to their newest addition, Jonathan Quick, to tend the net tonight. Quick’s story has been a bit of a subplot on this trip, traded from the Kings to the Columbus Blue Jackets just before the Habs were set to face L.A., then returned to the Pacific Division in a trade-deadline deal to Las Vegas. As was highlighted in our Kings preview, the past few seasons haven’t been kind to Quick, but the Golden Knights are hoping a change of scenery will restore the championship form the netminder used to possess.
For Montreal, the main story continues to be injuries, and they’re now down another player since Friday’s game. The team has had to make an emergency recall of defenceman Frédéric Allard, presumably because Kaiden Guhle is unable to play with a shoulder injury he sustained versus the Ducks. That would be two rookie defencemen the Habs lost on this road trip alone after Justin Barron went out earlier.
That loss would be Allard’s gain, as he could be dressing for the second NHL game of his career, and first since the 2020-21 season with the Nashville Predators. He has been in the AHL ever since, which is where he was originally slated to go following his addition to the organization, but would surely relish the opportunity to dress for the team from his home province.