Preview Game #56

Canadiens vs. Colorado

Pepsi Centre – Feb. 14, 2018 – 9:35pm EST

Season Records – Canadiens – 55GP (22-26-7) 51 pts. 14th in Eastern Conference. Colorado 55GP (30-21-4) 64pts. 11th in Western Conference.

Last Ten Games – Canadiens (4-5-1) Colorado (4-5-1)

Home/Away – Canadiens on the road (8-16-1) Colorado at home (19-7-1)

Lineup Changes

….Antti Niemi has been named to start against the Avalanche.  Semyon Varlamov in goal for Colorado.

….Canadiens lines & pairings are unchanged to start the game.


….Second of two meetings. @Bell Centre Jan. 23rd Canadiens-4 Colorado-2. Canadiens outshot the Avalanche 40-22. Drouin 1 goal, 2 assists. Galchenyuk 1 g, 1a. Price vs. Bernier.

….Last game @ Denver – Feb. 7, 2017 – Colorado-4 Canadiens-0. Calvin Pickard 27 shot shutout. MacKinnon 1 goal, 1 assist.

….Of the 22 players on the Canadiens roster when they played the Avalanche last February in Denver eleven are no longer in their organization including forwards Mitchell, Flynn, Andrighetto, Radulov and Desharnais; defensemen Beaulieu, Emelin, Markov, Pateryn and Nesterov plus goaltender Al Montoya.

….The Canadiens have lost three of the four games at Denver since the 2012 lockout. Outscored 14-7.

….Since the Nordiques became the Avalanche in 1995 the Canadiens have a 2-10-2 record at the Pepsi Centre.

….The Canadiens last win in Denver was Dec. 1st 2014 (4-3). Their only other win was Feb. 13th 2009 (4-2). They are the only two wins in Denver dating back to Feb. 6th 1982 when the Canadiens defeated the Colorado Rockies 5-2. At the time the Rockies franchise was in it’s 6th and final year before the team was moved to New Jersey.

….The teams have met nine times since the 2012 lockout. Max Pacioretty leads the Canadiens with 5 goals and 5 assists in 9 games. Tomas Plekanec has 8 assists in 9 games. Alex Galchenyuk with 2 goals, 4 assists in eight games.

….Brendan Gallagher has two goals, two assists during an active four game point streak vs. the Avalanche.

….Against the Canadiens since the lockout Nathan MacKinnon has 5 goals, 4 assists in 9 games. Gabriel Landeskog has 1 goal, 5 assists in eight games.

….Career vs. the Avalanche Antti Niemi has a 9-3-3 record in 18 appearances with a 3.07GAA and .889save% and one shutout.

….Semyon Varlamov is 5-3-1 career vs. the Canadiens wit 1 shutout, 2.81GAA and .911 save%.

About the Canadiens

….This is the first anniversary of the day Claude Julien took over Canadiens coaching duties from Michel Therrien (Feb. 14, 2017). In 58 games under Therrien last season the Canadiens were 31-19-8) 70 points. In 55 games Under Therrien this season they are 22-26-7. (Including last season 38-33-8)

….This is the first of a four game Canadiens road trip. The Canadiens are 1-8-0 in their last nine road games. In eight losses the Canadiens have been shut out twice and limited to one goal in five games.

….The Canadiens have won 8 of 25 games on the road this season averaging 2.24 goals per game while allowing 3.40 in those games.

….The Canadiens have scored 14 goals over their last four games spread among nine different players. Jeff Petry has three, Gallagher, Lehkonen and Logan Shaw have three apiece.

….When Shea Weber went in Injury Reserve on Dec. 18th  the Canadiens were 14-15-4. In the 22 games since, they are 8-11-3 and have given up 67 goals .

….Carey Price is 0-7-0 in his last in his last seven on the road. In that stretch his GAA is 2.33 and his save% .918. Price’s last road win was Dec. 22nd in Calgary. Overall on the road this season he was won 4 of 17 starts wit a 3.28GAA and .902 save%.

….After scoring eight goals in nine games, Max Pacioretty has failed to score in his last six.

….Paul Byron has not scored a goal in nine games (3 assists).

….Brendan Gallagher has 4 goals and eight points over his last eight games. (2goals 3 assists his lat four games)

….Artturi Lehkonen has three goals and two assists in his three games since he ended a 24 game slump during which he had one assist.

….Over his last eight games Jeff Petry has 4 goals, 4 assists.

….After going 0-1-1 in his first two starts for the Canadiens, Antti Niemi has won his last two appearances allowing 2 goals in each win (@ Washington and vs Anaheim at the Bell Centre)

….Canadiens chances of reaching the playoffs now listed at less than 1% by – 0.5%.

….At minus-27 and minus-26 respectively Alex Galchenyuk and Jonathan Drouin have the worst plus/minus defensive rating among NHL forwards. (Only defensemen Olivier Ekman-Larsson at minus-40 and Nick Leddy minus-30 are rated lower)

About the Avalanche

….Since the Canadiens ended the Colorado’s ten game winning streak with a 4-2 win the Avalanche have a 3-5-1 record.

….Colorado has a nine game home ice winning streak, longest in Avalanche history. The franchise record is 10 straight home ice wins set twice by the Nordiques in 1983-84 and ’94-’95.

….Jonathan Bernier has won his his last eight games at the Pepsi Center, the longest home streak since the franchise moved to Colorado. (Dan Bouchard won nine straight at the Colisee in Quebec City in 1983-84)

….The Avalanche are the youngest team in the league with an average age of 25.3. (Winnipeg is 2nd at 25.6)

….Colorado is 26-5-2 when they score first. They’ve scored first in 14 of their last 19 games and in all nine of the current home winning streak.

…..The Avalanche home ice penalty killing ranks first in the NHL at 91.9%. They have allowed seven power play goals in 27 home games.

….Nathan MacKinnon suffered what is believed to be a shoulder injury Jan. 30th in Vancouver. He leads the Avalanche in goals (24), assists (37) and points (61). He also leads in power play goals (8) and game-winning goals (7).

….In the 6 games since he replaced MacKinnon on the Avalanche’s top line with Gabriel Landeskog and Colin Wilson rookie Alexander Kerfoot has 1 goal, 0 assists. Landeskog has 3 assists since the MacKinnon injury and Wilson 1 assist.

….Rookie Gabriel Bourque has three goals in his last four games. He has five goals in 31 games this season.

….The Avalanche have given up a league leading 10 shorthanded goals.

….The Avalanche have been on their power play 206 times, most advantages in the league.  Their power play ranks 18th in the league.-

Goaltending –

….Carey Price has been in 40 games this season with a record of 15-20-5; 2.92GAA and .907save%.

….Semyon Varlamov – 29 appearances  this season – (13-11-2) 2.90GAA; .916save%.

Special Teams Power Play – Canadiens rank 10th (36/168) 21.4% Colorado ranks 18th (40/206) 19.4% Penalty Killing – Canadiens rank 24th (38/175) 78.3%. Colorado ranks 4th (32/194) 83.5%.

Canadiens Lines & Pairings

27-Alex Galchenyuk 92-Jonathan Drouin 38-Nikita Scherbak

67-Max Pacioretty 41-Paul Byron 62-Artturi Lehkonen

54-Charles Hudon 14-Tomas Plekanec 11-Brendan Gallagher

20-Nicolas Deslauriers 42-Byron Froese 49-Logan Shaw

22-Karl Alzner 26-Jeff Petry

45-Joe Morrow 8-Jamie Benn

53-Victor Mete 21-David Schlemko

37-Antti Niemi

Healthy Scratch–C Jacob de la Rose; LW Daniel Carr; D Jakub Jerabek;

Injuries – C Andrew Shaw (lower body); C Phillip Danault (concussion); D Shea Weber (foot); RW Ales Hemsky (IR concussion)

Colorado Forward Lines & Pairings

92-Gabriel Landeskog 13-Alexander Kerfoot 22-Colin Wilson

37-J.T. Compher 17-Tyson Jost 96-Mikko Rantanen

57-Gabriel Bourque 34-Carl Soderberg 83-Matthew Nieto

64-Nail Yakupov 47-Dominic Toninato 24-A.J. Greer

16-Nikita Zadorov 6-Erik Johnson

54-Anton Lindholm 4-Tyson Barrie

49-Samuel Girard 12-Patrik Nemeth

1-Semyon Varlamov

Injuries – C Nathan MacKinnon (upper body); LW Blake Comeau (lower body); D Mark Barberio (IR lower body); RW Sven Andrighetto (IR leg); LW Vladislav Kamenev ((IR broken arm); D Serei Boikov (IR dislocated shoulder)

Healthy Scratches – D Duncan Siemens; RW Rocco Grimaldi;