Preview Game #68

Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay

Amalie Arena – March 10, 2018 – 1:05pm

Season Records – Canadiens 67GP (25-31-11) 61 points. 27th in the league. Tamp Bay – 68GP (47-17-4) 98 points. First in Atlantic Division and NHL.

Last Ten Games – Canadiens (3-3-4) Tampa Bay (8-1-1)

Home/Away – Canadiens on the road (9-21-3) Tampa at home (24-6-2)

Lineup Changes – TBA


….Fourth of four meetings between the teams. Canadiens are 1-1-1 so far. @Tampa Dec. 28 Tampa-3 Canadiens-1. Stamkos – 2 goals. Price vs. Vasilevskiy. @Bell Centre Jan. 4th Canadiens-2 Tampa-1 (shootout). Byron with shootout winner. Pacioretty for Montreal; Kucherov for Tampa. Price allows 1 goal on 45 shots. @Bell Centre Feb. 24th Tampa Bay-4 Canadiens-3 (shootout). Kucherov 1g, 1a. Pacioretty 1 g 1a. Point with shootout winner. Niemi allows 3 on 39 shots.

….In the last nine home games vs. the Canadiens Tampa is 5-1-3.

….Last season the Canadiens won the Atlantic Division. Tampa missed the playoffs.

….Over the last three seasons in 11 meetings between the teams the Canadiens are 7-2-2 vs. Tampa. Prior to that Tampa had won seven straight and nine of eleven including playoffs.

….Caareer vs. Tampa Max Pacioretty (injured) has 13 goals and 25 points in 31 games. Brendan Gallagher has 5 goals, 5 assists in 21 games vs. Tampa

….In 18 career games vs. Montreal Nikita Kucherov has 5 goals and 9 assists. Steven Stamkos has 15 goals and 25 points in 32 games. Defenseman Victor Hedman has 26 points in 30 games (6g, 21a).

….The trade. Rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev has 8 goals and 33 points in 66 games this season and is plus-11. Jonathan Drouin also has 33 points (10g, 23a) and is minus-26 in 62 games.

….Antti Niemi is 0-3-1 vs. Tampa this season. His three losses came while a member of the Florida Panthers. His only decision with the Canadiens was a 4-3 OT loss at Montreal Feb. 24th. He stopped 36 of 39 shots.

….Career vs. the Lightning, Niemi is 5-4-2 in 11 games with a 3.31GAA and .891 save%.

….Versus the Canadiens Andrei Vasilevskiy has a record of 4-1-2 with a 2.23GAA and a .926 save% and one shutout.

About the Canadiens

….This is the fifth game of a six-game/twelve-day road trip.

….The Canadiens have lost 11 of their last 14 games overall.

….The Canadiens have lost fifteen of their last seventeen games on the road (2-13-2) dating back to back-to-back wins they recorded Dec. 19th and 22nd in Calgary and Edmonton.

….In those last 17 road games the Canadiens have been outscored 58-28 and been limited to one goal or fewer ten times (three times shut out)

….On November 30, December 2nd the Canadiens swept a home and home series with Detroit scoring 16 goals. In the 39 games since they have averaged 2.35GPG.

….Overall the Canadiens offense ranks 29th in the league (2.52 per game). Their defense is 23rd (3.07 per game.

….With 19 of a possible 66 points on the road this season (9-21-3) the Canadiens are the worst road team in the league. On he road they averaged 2.24 goals per game while giving up 3.55.  

….The Canadiens have been shut out ten times this season – most in the NHL and a Canadiens record,

….In the 50 games since November 9th the Canadiens have scored three or more goals only 22 times. Their record in those games 13-9.

….Since December 23rd the Canadiens have won 8 of 31 games (8-16-7).

….The Canadiens have won 6 of the last 23 games against Eastern Conference opponents.

….In his last 20 games Brendan Gallagher has 17 points including 8 goals, 9 assists. He has failed to register a point in only five of the 20 games

….Alex Galchenyuk has three goals, 8 assists his last 15 games despite a four game points slump at one point in the stretch and a current three game points drought..

….Gallagher leads the Canadiens with 24 goals and 41 points. 24 goals equals his career high. He needs 6 points to equal his career high in points (47).

….Jonathan Drouin has 3 goals, 3 assists his last 17 games.

….After failing to register a point in 16 consecutive games Jacob de la Rose has 2 goals, 2 assists his last six games.

….As a member of the Canadiens Antti Niemi has been 12 games with a record of 4-2-3, a 2.38GAA and .933 save%. (In his 5 appearances with Pittsburgh and Florida this season he was 0-4-0 with 6.74GAA and .822 save%).

….Defenseman Mike Reilly has four assists in five game since coming to the Canadiens from Minnesota at the trade deadline.

….Over the last four games Canadiens penalty killers have given up 7 PPG in 17 times shorthanded.

….The Canadiens power play has failed to produce on the current road trip – 0-for-13 in the last four games.

About the Lightning

….Tampa has won four in a row and are on a nine game point streak (8-0-1) which matches the season high for consecutive games with a point October 9-26 – also 8-0-1.

….The Lightning have won four games in a row despite allowing 17 goals over that stretch.

….The Lightning have been out of the league points lead only six days since Nov. 28th and have led the Atlantic Division continuously since Oct. 19th.

….The Lightning need two points to become the first team in the NHL to reach 100. The team record is 108 points set in 2014-15.

….Nikita Kucherov leads the NHL with 87 points (33g, 54a) He has led the Art Ross Trophy race every day since December 12th .

….Kucherov has five assists his last three games.

….Rookie Yanni Gourde hs 10 goals and 23 points over his last 22 games. He has 53 points which is 3rd among rookies. His 24 goals is one more than Steven Stamkos scored in his rookie season. Among NHL rookies he is second only to Vancouver’s Brock Boeser (29)

….Gourde has the 2nd best shooting percentage in the league at 20.9%. He leads all NHL rookies and is fourth overall in the league at plus-29.

….Steven Stamkos leads two goals to reach the 350 plateau. Seven of his 78 points this season have come in the last four games.

….Centre Anthony Cirelli has two goals, three assists and is plus-4 since being recalled from Syracuse. Cirelli scored the game winning goal in the 2015 Memorial Cup final as captain of the Oshawa Generals. Cirelli was drafted by Tampa in the third round (72nd) in 2015. (Michael McCarron was an Oshawa teammate)

Goaltending –

….With Pittsburgh, Florida and the Canadiens this season Antti Niemi has been in 17 games with a 4-6-3 record; a 3.40 GAA and .903 save%.

….Andrei Vasilievskiy has been in 56 games with Tampa – (40-12-3) with a 2.45GAA and .925 save%.

Special Teams Power Play – Canadiens rank 18th (40/202) 19.8%. Tampa ranks 3rd (55/231) 23.8%. . Penalty Killing – Canadiens rank 27th (51/215) 76.3%. Tampa ranks 24th (50/224) 77.7%.

Projected Canadiens Lines & Pairings

62-Artturi Lehkonen 65-Andrew Shaw 38-Nikita Scherbak

27-Alex Galchenyuk 25-Jacob de la Rose 54-Charles Hudon

41-Paul Byron 92-Jonathan Drouin 11-Brendan Gallagher

20-Nicolas Deslauriers 42-Byron Froese 43 Daniel Carr

28-Mike Reilly 26-Jeff Petry

22-Karl Alzner 58-Noah Juulsen

36-Brett Lernout 8-Jordie Benn

37-Antti Niemi

Healthy Scratches – LW Logan Shaw; D David Schlemko

Injuries – D Rinat Valiev (lower body); C Phillip Danault (neck); LW Max Pacioretty (knee); D Victor Mete (broken finger); LW Charles Hudon (hand); G Carey Price (concussion); D Shea Weber (IR broken foot); RW Alex Hemsky (IR concussion)

Tampa Bay Lines & Pairings

91-Steven Stamkos 9-Tyler Johnson 86-Nikita Kucherov

37-Yanni Gourde 21-Brayden Point 10-J.T. Miller

17-Alex Killorn 71-Anthony Cirelli 73-Adam Erne

14-Chris Kunitz 13-Cedric Pacquette 24-Ryan Callahan

77-Victor Hedman 5-Dan Girardi

98-Mikhail Sergachev 6-Anton Stralman

29-Slater Koekkoek 59-Jake Dotchin

88-Andrei Vasilevskiy

Injuries -D Ryan McDonagh (upper body); LW Ondrej Palat (IR lower body); G Peer Budaj (IR leg)

Healthy Scratches – D Braydon Coburn; D Andrej Sustr; C Cory Conacher.