Preview Game #37

Canadiens vs. Carolina

PNC Arena– Dec. 27, 2017 – 7:10pm EST

Season Records – Canadiens – 36GP (16-16-4) 36pts. Fourth in Atlantic Division. Carolina 35GP 16-12-7 39 points (Sixth in Metropolitan Division.

Last Ten Games – Canadiens (5-4-1) Carolina (5-3-2)

Home/Away – Canadiens on the road (7-9-1) Carolina at home 8-4-3)

Lineup Changes

.Shea Weber and David Schlemko did not make the road trip. Brett Lernout recalled and will play with Jakub Jerabek on the third defense pairing. Otherwise no changes from the lineup in Edmonton on Saturday.

-…..Carey Price vs. Cam Ward


….First of three games. Next meeting January 25th in Montreal.

….Last season the Canadiens lost two of three vs. Carolina. The Canadiens split the pair at home and lost at Raleigh.

….Over the last 27 meetings between the clubs the Canadiens are 18-7-2 and 7-4-2 over the last 13 at Raleigh.

….Statistically, the teams are evenly matched – Carolina has scored 2.74 goals per game; the Canadiens 2.69. On defense the Canadiens give up 3.14 per game to Carolina’s 3.03. On special teams the Canadiens power play ranks 19th; Carolina 27th. Penalty Killing the Hurricanes are 26th, the Canadiens have dropped to 28th.

….Career vs. Carolina Price has a career record of 14-6-2 with a 2.08 GAA and .934 save%.

….Carolina has killed 22 straight penalties vs. the Canadiens. The last Canadiens power play goal vs. Carolina was January 14, 2014.

….Career vs. the Hurricanes Max Pacioretty has 12 goals and 21 points in 23 games; Tomas Plekanec 11 goals and 37 points in 42 games and Brendan Gallagher 2 goals 7 assists in 13 games.

….In 22 career games vs. the Canadiens Jeff Skinner has 10g, 6 assists and has points in five of his last six – 5 goals, 2 assists.

….Justin Williams has 31 points in 38 games vs. the Canadiens (7g, 24a). Three of his seven goals have been game winners.

About the Canadiens

….As the Canadiens embarked on last season’s post Christmas schedule their record was 21-9-4 for 46 points after 34 games. This year’s edition of the team is 13 points behind last year’s and the Canadiens have played two more games.

….The Canadiens started their seven game road trip two points behind the Bruins. Eight days later after splitting the first four games they seven points behind the Bruins who still hold two games in hand. They have also lost five of their last eight (3-4-1)

….In order to reach the projected Eastern Conference wild card cutoff point of 95 through their final 46 games they would have to post a 29-16-1 record.

….The Canadiens have won only seven of 17 games on the road this season. They’ve scored 2.71 per game while allowing 3.59 in thos games.

….Outside of the first game of the season, the Canadiens didn’t reach .500 until the second of December when they defeated Detroit 10-1. Since then they remain stuck in neutral with a record of 4-4-1.

….On the road this season Carey Price has won four of ten starts with an .890 save percent.

….Max Pacioretty‘s slump continues; now at one goal in his last 18 games. He is currently on track for an 18 goals and 45 points season.

….Alex Galchenyuk has 12 points his last 13 games including 4 goals, 8 assists.

….The only hattrick of Galchenyuk’s career was against the Hurricanes three years ago (Dec. 16 , 2014) in a 4-1 at the Bell Centre. Three goals on three shots. Pacioretty drew first assist on three even strength goals.

….In only 17 games with the Canadiens Nicolas Deslauriers is already a team-leading plus-10. Byron Froese is plus-7 and Daniel Carr plus-6. (The only other forwards on the plus side of the ledger are Plekanec at plus-4 and Byron at plus-1)

About the Hurricanes

….Carolina is four points behind the Islanders for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with a game in hand.

….Carolina has won five of their seven games leading up to the break. They have points in seven of their last nine.

….The Hurricanes have scored in the first minute of their last two games, the first time they’ve accomplished since 1990 when the franchise was in Hartford.

….This will be only the Hurricanes fourth home game of the month. They have won all four games.

…..Vs. the Atlantic Division Carolina has a record of 6-3-0 this season.

….With this game, Jordan Staal becomes only the second player from the 2006 draft to play in his 800th game. Phil Kessel is the other. Staal was drafted second overall by Pittsburgh; Jonathan Toews was third and Kessel went fifth. (The Canadiens selected defenseman David Fischer in that draft 20th overall and was never offered a contract. – He’s now playing with Klagenfurt in the Austrian League).

….Jeff Skinner has points in six of his last seven games (1 goal, 7 assists) and has five in his last four.

.Cam Ward will make his third straight start. He has victories in each of his last four outings and is 7-0-1 since mid November. During his four game streak he as a 2.18GAA and .922 save%.

….In five starts at home Ward is 3-1-0 with a 2.54 GAA and .914save%.

….The Hurricanes rank first in the league in faceoff win-percentage – 52.9%. They are also the only team in the league’s tope five in faceoffs in all three zones.

Goaltending –

….Carey Price is 11-10-2 for the season with a 3.04GAA and .904 save%.

….Cam Ward is 8-2-1 on the season with a 2.79 GAA and .911 save%. At home this season he is 3-1 with a 2.54 GAA amd /914 save%.

Special TeamsPower Play – Canadiens power play ranks 19th (21/111) 18.9%. Carolina Power play is 27th (18/116) 15.5%. Penalty Killing – Canadiens rank 28th (27/118) 77.1%. Carolina ranks 26th (20/88) 77.3%.

Canadiens Lines & Pairings

67-Max Pacioretty 92-Jonathan Drouin 41-Paul Byron

27-Alex Galchenyuk 24-Phillip Danault 65-Andrew Shaw

62-Artturi Lehkonen 14-Tomas Plekanec 11-Brendan Gallagher

41-Daniel Carr   41-Byron Froese   20-Nicolas Deslauriers-

22-Karl Alzner 26-Jeff Petry

8 Jordie Benn 21-David Schlemko

28-Jakub Jerabek 436-Brett Lernout

37-Antti Niemi

Healthy Scratch– C Jacob de la Rose; LW Charles Hudon

Injuries – D David Schlemko (virus); D Shea Weber (foot); G Al Montoya (IR concussion); RW Ales Hemsky (IR concussion);

Carolina Line Combinations & Pairings

20-Sebastian Aho 11-Jordan Staal 86-Teuvo Tervainen

53-Jeff Skinner 49-Victor Rask 28-Elias Lindholm

23-Brock McGinn 7-Derek Ryan 14-Justin Williams

42-Joakim Nordstrom 16-Marcus Kruger 34-Phil di Giuseppe

74-Jaccob Slavin 22-Brett Pesce

6-Klas Dahlbeck 27-Justin Faulk

5-Noah Hanifan 57-Trevor van Riemsdyk

30-Cam Ward

Injuries – RW Lee Stempniak (IR undisclosed)

Healthy Scratches – D Hayden Fleury; RW Josh Jooris.