Preview Game #64

Columbus vs. Canadiens

Bell Centre – Feb. 28, 2017 – 7:35pm

Season Records – Columbus – 60GP (39-16-5) 83pts. Tied for third in Metro Division with Rangers. Canadiens – 63GP (34-21-8) 76pts 9First in Atlantic Division.

Last Time Out – Columbus defeated Rangers 5-2 at New York Sunday. Canadiens edged New Jersey 4-3 at Newark Monday.

Last Ten Games Columbus (6-4-0) Canadiens (4-5-1)

Home/Road – Columbus on Road (17-7-4) Canadiens at Home (18-9-4)

Lineup Changes

….Jordie Benn, acquired Monday from Dallas, could play his first game with the Canadiens on the third defense pairing with Nathan Beaulieu.   If he is in the lineup it will be without any practice ice time with the team.  The Canadiens did not hold a morning skate.   He will wear #8 and would replace Nikita Nesterov. who would be a healthy scratch.


….Third of three meetings – @ Columbus Nov. 4th – Columbus-10 Canadiens-0. Al Montoya allows 10 on 40 shots. Atkinson, Anderson, Hartnell & Foligno two goals each. Wennberg 4 assists. Bobrovsky with shutout. @Columbus Dec. 23rd – Columbus-2 Canadiens-1 Gagne & Saad for Blue Jackets. Petry for Montreal. Bobrovsky stops 36 of 37. Montoya 22 of 24.

….The Canadiens have lost their last four games vs. Columbus (0-4-0) and have been outscored 22-5. The last time the Canadiens defeated the Blue Jackets at home was 2-1 Dec. 1, 2015.

….Columbus is 10-10-2 all-time vs. the Canadiens. They have won four straight vs. the Canadiens including both meetings this season.

….All time at home vs. the Blue Jackets the Canadiens are 5-4-2 with one tie.

….In the two games vs. Montreal this season Columbus is 4 for 9 on the power play. In the last three games dating back to last season it’s 7/12 for 58.3.

About the Canadiens

….The Canadiens have lost five straight home games while being outscored 13-5 and shutout twice. Their last home win was January 31st against Buffalo. They are 4-8-3 in their last 15 home games dating back to December 12th. Montreal has not scored a goal on home ice in 108:56 and have one goal at the Bell Centre in 198:11 (3-plus games).

….The Canadiens have not lost six in a row at home almost ten years. From Nov. 2nd to 19th they went 0-4-2.

….The Canadiens have failed to score a goal in 20 of 27 periods over their last nine games including the first two periods Monday vs. New Jersey.

….This is the tenth of twelve times this season the Canadiens are scheduled to play three games in four nights. After winning the first two ‘third-games’ the Canadiens have lost seven in a row (0-4-3). When the third game is also the second of back-to-back the Canadiens record is 1-3-3.

….In the second half of back-to-back games the Canadiens record is 6-4-2. The Canadiens have won both ends of a back-to-back series only twice this season. They swept the first of the season, both of them regulation wins. On the road Jan. 3, 4 they beat Nashville & Dallas; both games in overtime.

….Max Pacioretty is the fifth player in Canadiens history with four consecutive 30 goal seasons. He Joins Steve Shutt who had nine straight between 1974 and 1983; Guy Lafleur with six from ’74 to ’80; Rocket Richard from ’54-57 and Yvan Cournoyer ’70-74.

….Pacioretty is the only NHL player with 30 or more goals in all four seasons since the start of 2013-14 (Alex Ovechkin has 27 and will join him shortly).

….In actuality, Pacioretty has 30 goals in each of the last five full NHL seasons. In the lockout-shortened 2013 season he scored 14 goals in 37 games.

….Pacioretty has ten goals in his last thirteen games and leads the entire league with 26 in 39 games since early December.

….At his current rate and 19 games remaining Pacioretty is on pace for his first career 40-goal. He has scored at a rate of .492 goals per game this season.

….Pacioretty‘s next point will be the 400th of his career.  He will be the fourth player from the 2007 draft to reach that figure joining first overall choice Patrick Kane, 7th pick Jacub Voracek and 129th overall choice Jamie Benn.  (Pacioretty was drafted 22nd overall)

….The Canadiens are 23-3-2 this season when Alexander Radulov registers a point and 10-2-2 when he scores a goal.

….Radulov is coming off his first career four-point night (1 goal, 3 assists vs. New Jersey).  He had failed to register a point in his previous six games.

….Alex Galchenyuk has 2 goals and 2 assists in his last five games. In his 12 games since returning from his knee injury Galchenyuk has 3 goals, 3 assists.

….With two last night, Shea Weber now is one away from 300 career assists.

About the Blue Jackets

….This also the Blue Jackets third game in three nights. Coming out of their five day schedule break they swept weekend games 7-0 at home Saturday vs. the Islanders and 5-2 vs. the Rangers Sunday at Madison Square Garden.

….Columbus has earned points in 44 of it’s first 60 games and 36 of the last 48.

….The Blue Jackets won 16 games in a row Nov. 29th to January 3rd. The next 19 they were 8-10-1 and now are on a 4-1-0 stretch beating Toronto, Pittsburgh, the Islanders and Rangers.

….With 22 games remaining Columbus has already surpassed last season in wins and points – 34W 76pts.

….Columbus is one of three teams to rank in the top five in both goals-for and against. They are fourth at 3.28 goals per game and 4th in goals against at 2.40. Washington and Minnesota are the other teams.

….In his last ten road games Alexander Wennberg has 4 goals 8 assists including two goals vs. the Rangers Sunday. Overall he has 16 points his last 15 games. He ranks 6th in the NHL with 40 assists.   With 37 points, Wennberg is two away from Rick Nash’s Columbus rookie point scoring record.

….The line of Brandon Dubinsky/Boone Jenner/Cam Atkinson has scored 12 goals the last 11 games (Dubinsky with 4 g and 12 points; Atkinson 5 goals-7 points and Jenner 3 goals-7 points)

….Dubinsky has 6 goals and 17 points over his last 19.

….Cam Atkinson is 6th in the league in goals with 29 in 60 games. He has already passed his career high in goals-27 last season. At 5’8” he was a sixth round draft pick (157th) in 2008.

….Atkinson has 8 goals his last nine games on the road.


….This will be Carey Price‘s 48th appearance of the season. In 47 games he is 26-16-5 with 2 shutouts; a 2.42 GAA and .925 save%.

….Over his last four starts Carey Price has a 1.96GAA and .933 save%.

….Price has not faced Columbus in almost two seasons – Feb. 26, 2015, a 5-2 win. He was the winning goaltender in all three Columbus starts in the 2014-15 season. Last season Mike Condon started twice and Ben Scrivens the other. This season Al Montoya has had both starts.

….In 9 career starts vs. the Blue Jackets Price is 5-3-1 with no shutouts; a 2.43GAA and .915 save%.

….Price recorded two shutouts in the season’s first month. He has not shutout an opponent in his last 38 starts dating back Nov. 12th vs. Detroit.

….Sergei Bobrovsky is second in the league in wins with 32 (one behind Minnesota”s Devan Dubnyk). 32 wins equals a career high. He is fourth in the NHL in GAA and Save Percentage (2.20 and .925). He has reached he 30 win plateau three times in his last four seasons.

….Bobrovsky‘s season record is 48GP (32-13-3) 3 shutouts, 2.42GAA and .919 save%.

….Bobrovsky‘s career record vs. the Canadiens is 7-4-0 with one shutout a 2.30GAA and .925save%.

Special TeamsPower Play – Columbus ranks 5th (37/166) 22.3% Canadiens rank 9th (40/187) 21.4% Penalty Killing – Columbus ranks 10th (28/159) 82.4%. Canadiens rank 21st (43/217) 80.2%.

Projected Canadiens Lines & Pairings

67-Max Pacioretty 24-Phillip Danault 47-Alexander Radulov

62-Artturi Lehkonen 27-Alex Galchenyuk 11-Brendan Gallagher

41-Paul Byron 14-Tomas Plekanec 65-Andrew Shaw

42-Sven Andrighetto 51-David Desharnais 17-Torrey Mitchell

79Andrei Markov 6-Shea Weber

26-Jeff Petry 74-Alexei Emelin

8-Jordie Benn 28-Nathan Beaulieu

31-Carey Price

Injuries – none.

Scratches – C Mike McCarron; C Brian Flynn; D Nikita Nesterov;

Columbus Forward Lines & Pairings

38-Boone Jenner 17-Brandon Dubinsky 13-Cam Atkinson

71-Nick Foligno 10-Alexander Wennberg 28-Oliver Bjorkstrand

43-Scott Hartnell 89-Sam Gagner 20-Brandon Saad

33-Markus Hannikainen 25-William Karlsson 34-Josh Anderson

8-Zach Werenski 3-Seth Jones

7-Jack Johnson 58-David Savard

27-Ryan Murray 65-Markus Nutivaara

72-Sergei Bobrovsky

Injuries – D Nikita Zadorov (LTIR broken ankle); G Semyon Varlamov (LTIR groin)

Scratches – LW Matt Calvert; D Daniel Prout; D Scott Harrington