Canadiens vs. Flames: Game preview, start time, Tale of the Tape, and how to watch

The Habs will look to rebound from an out-of-character game against the Senators as the Flames come to town.

Montreal Canadiens vs. Calgary Flames

How to watch

Puck drop: 7:30 PM EDT / 4:30 PM PDT
In Canada: TSN2, RDS
In the Flames region: Sportsnet Flames
Elsewhere: TSN GO, NHL Live

Seeking their fourth consecutive victory, the Montreal Canadiens jumped out to a 3-1 first period lead but could not hold it against an Ottawa Senators team that pressed the Habs more and more as the game went on.

Although a misread from Carey Price contributed to the start of the Sens’ comeback, some remarkable saves in the third period from the former Hart and Vezina winner rescued a point for the Habs. Even though the 4-3 overtime defeat left a sour taste in the mouths of players and fans alike, the Habs at least recorded a point in their fourth consecutive game, and six of seven so far on the season.

Tale of the Tape

1-0-1H2H Record (17-18)0-1-1
54.36% (5th)Corsi-for pct.53.01% (7th)
23 (16th)Goals for30 (3rd)
19 (6th)Goals against24 (18th)
17.2% (21st)PP%18.2% (19th)
72.7% (23rd)PK%79.3% (15th)

Having returned from their home-away-from-home in Kanata, the Canadiens now prepare to welcome the Calgary Flames to the Bell Centre. The Flames enter Montreal to play the final game of a short eastern road trip, having emerged from Madison Square Garden with a 4-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday evening.

The Flames have enjoyed an up-and-down season thus far, trading two victories for each loss so far. Their last three games have featured a strong win over the Boston Bruins, a see-saw affair with the Nashville Predators resulting in eventual defeat, and the aforementioned win in New York on the back of a 44-save performance from backup netminder David Rittich.

Conventionally, with the backup having played the game prior, the Canadiens would expect to face Mike Smith on Tuesday night. However, Rittich, with his 2-0 record, .962 save percentage, and 1.30 goals-against average, is making a serious case to take over the starting position from the veteran (3-3, .885, 3.38).

Beyond the net, the Flames are led by Johnny Gaudreau (5G, 7A), Matthew Tkachuk (3G, 7A), Sean Monahan (4G, 4A), and the newly-acquired Elias Lindholm (5G, 3A). Beyond these four though, the Flames do not have another forward with more than four points. The quartet of Gaudreau, Tkachuk, Monahan, and Lindholm have also struck repeatedly on the power play (five power-play points for the first two individuals and three for the latter two), so staying out of the penalty box will be imperative for a penalty kill that ranks in the bottom third of the league.

From the Habs’ perspective, Karl Alzner made a notable turnover that led directly to the first Senators goal, while Nicolas Deslauriers and Andrew Shaw both looked slow on a newly-moribund fourth line. As such, there’s a distinct possibility that Victor Mete (if healthy) and Charles Hudon may slot back in. However, Claude Julien saw fit to make no adjustments during Monday’s practice. With two days between games, Price will likely get the start as he makes a second attempt to match Patrick Roy for career wins as a Hab.

Ultimately, as the big four go, so go the Calgary Flames. At least one member of the quartet has earned a point on 23 of the 30 Flames’ goals scored thus far this season. With Tomas Plekanec out, it will be up to Phillip Danault and Jeff Petry to neutralize the Flames’ top players. How they perform this task will likely be the difference between victory and defeat.

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