Canadiens vs Maple Leafs: Game Preview, Start Time, and TV Schedule

With their lineup nearly set, can the Habs end the preseason on a high note?

Everything is coming together.

Notwithstanding the absences of Brian Flynn (injury) and Paul Byron (illness), the Montreal Canadiens appear set — for the first time since last November — to head into a hockey game at full strength, more or less.

Carey Price will get his first taste of Canadiens hockey this season, just over 10 months after his final outing of 2015-16. Any lingering doubt with regards to his fitness was likely cast aside after he dominantly backstopped an unstoppable Team Canada at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, but seeing him in the CH again will be a relief for the Tricolore faithful nonetheless.

For Shea Weber, tonight will mark his first taste of Canadiens hockey ever, having joined training camp in progress after his own successful tour with the national team. Notable acquisitions Alexander Radulov and Andrew Shaw will each play tonight, on the Plekanec and Desharnais lines, respectively. Even first-round pick Mikhail Sergachev will be a part of this nearly complete lineup, at least for the evening.

On paper, the roster looks strong and balanced, with plenty of high-end skill. Tonight, we’ll get our first impression of how it looks on the ice.

How to Watch

Start Time: 7:30 PM EDT / 4:30 PDT

In the Canadiens region (French): RDS

In the Maple Leafs region (English): TSN4

Elsewhere: NHL GameCentre Live, NHL Center Ice

The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, still have some work ahead of them. Their exhibition schedule will continue for two more games after their meeting with Montreal tonight, and while the Habs have only a handful of pending roster decisions, the Leafs’ brass still have quite a few spare players in camp.

The list includes veteran former Washington Capitals centre Brooks Laich, and former Blue Jackets first-rounder Kerby Rychel, but it’s the presence of Brandon Prust that may be most meaningful to Habs fans. Prust, of course, was a free-agent signee with the Canadiens and a part of three Habs squads, including the 2013-14 edition that made a run to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Brought to Vancouver last summer by the same fateful deal that delivered Zack Kassian to the Canadiens, Prust endured a difficult season that ended with the AHL’s Utica Comets. With decision time looming on his current PTO with the Maple Leafs, and big-league opportunities becoming more and more scarce for players of his ilk, tonight (should he make the game-day roster) may be our final opportunity to witness a player who gave everything he had on the Bell Centre ice for three seasons.

If you’re the nostalgic type, that might give you one small reason to quickly look back this evening, even on a night that should be all about looking forward.

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