Canadiens vs. Oilers: Game thread, lines, Tale of the Tape, and how to watch

After 10 days off, the Canadiens play their second game in 24 hours.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Edmonton Oilers

How to watch

Start time: 2:00 PM EST / 11:00 AM PST
In Canada: Sportsnet, Sportsnet Now
In the Canadiens region: RDS, RDS Direct

There may have been a bit of rust to wear off as the Canadiens emerged from hibernation yesterday afternoon, not really getting anything going in the opening minutes. But that all changed with a shift from Jesperi Kotkaniemi and his Finnish linemates as the rookie opened the scoring on one of the league’s lowest-ranked teams.

But as has too often been the case this year, special teams played a role in the Canadiens’ demise. First a power-play goal for the New Jersey Devils and then one moments after an ineffective man advantage for Montreal came to an end allowed them to pull the game into a tie, getting to overtime in a contest they played largely on their heels. After a few chances in overtime, the Canadiens watched on a Nico Hischier went in for a chance on goal, and beat Antti Niemi with a short-side shot to secure the 3-2 victory.

It wasn’t the start the Canadiens were hoping for as they attempt to secure their playoff spot in the final third of the season, but one point is still a positive outcome so long as they don’t make a habit of leaving points behind down the stretch.

The Habs have a chance to put yesterday’s result behind them with another game this afternoon. Today’s Bell Centre visitor is the Edmonton Oilers, who also experienced a come-from-behind overtime loss a day ago. Firing their head coach, making a few trades, and parting with a GM responsible for some lopsided trades in other teams’ favour haven’t led to an increase in their fortunes. Yesterday’s loss to the Philadelphia Flyers was their fourth consecutive defeat, dropping them back below a .500 record on the season.

Tale of the Tape

0-1-0H2H Record1-0-0
54.0% (4th)Corsi-for pct.48.5% (21st)
2.96 (15th)Goals per game2.84 (21st)
2.92 (13th)Goals against per game3.29 (25th)
12.8% (31st)PP%20.7% (14th)
79.3% (18th)PK%75.5% (29th)

The first meeting of the season, played in Edmonton’s Rogers Place, wasn’t a pretty one for Montreal. Antti Niemi surrendered six goals in one of the Oilers’ largest margins of victory this season. The Canadiens were outshot 43-29 in a poor effort from all involved. With Carey Price sitting out for his own run of bad form, it seemed like the season was headed off the rails with not even the MVP able to save them.

But that Carey Price is gone. Instead the goaltender who dons his jersey is playing like the man who left the 2015 NHL Awards show with a truckload of hardware. He’s won his last four starts, and 12 of 19 since December 1, sporting a .933 save percentage in that time. In January alone he was even more effective, with a mark of .953, requiring teams to fire 20 shots on net to earn a goal.

With the main man between the pipes, and the Canadiens coming off a game with a disappointing result despite a good effort from the skaters, today’s game should be much different from that first meeting of the year.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup


Left WingCentreRight Wing
Jonathan DrouinPhillip DanaultBrendan Gallagher
Tomas TatarMax DomiPaul Byron
Artturi LehkonenJesperi KotkaniemiJoel Armia
Charles HudonMatthew PecaNicolas Deslauriers


Left DefenceRight Defence
Victor MeteShea Weber
Mikey ReillyJeff Petry
Brett KulakJordie Benn


Carey Price
Antti Niemi

Edmonton Oilers projected lineup


Left WingCentreRight Wing
Milan LucicConnor McDavidTy Rattie
Tobias RiederLeon DraisaitlAlex Chiasson
Jujhar KhairaRyan Nugent-HopkinsZack Kassian
Colby CaveKyle BrodziakJesse Puljujarvi


Left DefenceRight Defence
Darnell NurseAdam Larsson
Kris RussellMatt Benning
Brandon ManningKevin Gravel


Mikko Koskinen
Cam Talbot

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