Tampa Bay vs. Canadiens
Bell Centre – Jan. 7/2012 – 7:15pm
…..Once again the Canadiens will try to post back-to-back wins. They’ve only done it once the last two months; the last time was December 10th & 13th (Devils and Islanders). Prior to that it was November 10th & 12th (Phoenix and Nashville).
…..The Lightning are off to slow start in the New Year. They have been outscored 11-4 in losses to the Maple Leafs and Senators. This marks the conclusion of a three-game road trip.
……Brian Gionta is expected to be in the lineup after missing the last 11 with a groin injury. He scored 57 goals over his first two seasons with the Canadiens, but had 8 goals in 29 games this season but was slumping when he went on injury reserve with only one goal his previous nine games. It will be Gionta’s first game under interim coach Randy Cunneyworth. The Canadiens were 4-7-0 during his absence.
…..For the second time in four games, Montreal set its season high in goals (7) Wednesday against Winnipeg. Against Ottawa they had scored a, then season high, six goals Dec. 27th.
……Prior to his big four-goal night Wednesday against Winnipeg, Lars Eller had only 13 goals in 120 career games.
…..Lightning defenseman Brendan Mikkelson, acquired Friday in a trade with the Flames, has 6 assists in 86 career games with Calgary and Anaheim. The Lightning gave up centre Blair Jones to acquire Mikkelson, who was playing with Abbotsford in the AHL..
…..Tomas Kaberle has 1 goal and 8 points in 11 games for the Canadiens after failing to score a goal and posting 9 assists in 29 games this season for the Hurricanes.
…..Tampa Bay defenceman Brett Connolly has returned from the World Junior Championship. He had 5 goals in six games as Team Canada won the bronze medal.
…..Tampa Bay has lost four straight on the road They have given up 45 goals in dropping nine of 11 (2-8-1) away from home. In those eleven road games they’ve scored on only 2 of 39 power-play chances.
….At 106, the Canadiens are tied with Buffalo for the second worst goal production in the Eastern Conference. In goals-against they rank sixth with 113.
…..Carey Price, who made 24 saves Wednesday, has gone 2-6-0 with a 3.42 GAA over his last eight games. He is 2-3-1 with a 3.16 GAA in his six most recent games against the Lightning.
….Tampa goaltender Mathieu Garon spent the first four years of his career with the Canadiens organization. He has been the winner in each of his last two starts against the Habs. He stopped 31 shots in the 4-3 win Dec. 29.
The Cold Hard Facts –
Season Records – Tampa Bay – 39GP (17-19-3) 37 pts. 12th in Eastern Conference. Canadiens – 40GP – (15-18-7) – 37 pts. 13th in Eastern Conference.
Last Ten Games – Tampa Bay 5-4-1; Montreal 3-7-0
Season Series: Second of four meetings. Dec. 29 @ Tampa Tampa-4 Canadiens-3. Canadiens had a 3-1 lead in the game.
Home/Road – Tampa on the road (6-14-3) Canadiens at home – (9-11-1)
Last Time Out – Tampa Bay lost 4-1 to the Senators in Ottawa Thursday. Canadiens beat Winnipeg 7-3 Wednesday at the Bell Centre.
Goals For/Against – Tampa Bay – 108-For/ 133 against ( Minus-25) Canadiens 106/113 (minus-
Special Teams – Power Play – Tampa Bay ranked 25th – 13.9% (19/137) Canadiens ranked 30th – 12.6 (32/159) Penalty Killing – Tampa ranked 25th – 79.9% (32/159) Canadiens ranked 3rd – 88.4% (18/155)
Goaltending – Tampa Bay – Mathieu Garon – 27GP- (11-10-2) 2,84GAA .904save%. Canadiens – Carey Price – 35GP (14-14-7) 2.49GAA. .912save%
Who’s Hot- Tampa Bay – Stephen Stamkos has eight goals over his last five games and twelve goals in his last 10. He leads the league with 28. Canadiens – Erik Cole has 3 goals and 3 assists his last four games. Michael Cammalleri has 3 goals his last four games. Lars Eller scored four goals and an assist his last game.
The Missing – Tampa Bay – RW-Adam Hall (upper body); RW-JT Wyman (upper body); LW-Ryan Malone (lower body). D-Victor Hedman (concussion); RW-Ryan Shannon (IR- lower-body) . D-Mattias Ohlund (IR-knee surgery) . … Canadiens – C-Scott Gomez (IR[IR-groin); D-Andrei Markov (IR-arthroscopic knee surgery); RW-Ryan White (IR-sports hernia surgery); D-Brendon Nash (IR-shoulder surgery)