Preview Game #68

Canadiens vs. Columbus

Nationwide Arena– March 12, 2018 – 7:05pm

Season Records – Canadiens 68GP (25-31-12) 62 points. 27th in the league. Columbus – 69GP (36-28-5) 77pts. 8th in Eastern Conference.

Last Ten Games – Canadiens (3-2-5) Columbus (7-3-0)

Home/Away – Canadiens on the road (9-21-4) Columbus at home (22-11-2)

Lineup Changes – TBA


….Third of three meetings – Canadiens 1-0-1. – @Bell Centre – Nov. 14th Columbus-2 Canadiens-1 (overtime) Werenski with OT winner. Byron scored for Canadiens. Bobrovsky vs. Lindgren. @Bell Centre Nov. 27th Canadiens-3 Columbus-1. Price allowed one goal on 38 shots. Gallagher, Drouin, Shaw (ENG). Werenski for Columbus.

….The Canadiens last win at Columbus was Feb 26 2015 (5-2). The Blue Jackets have won the last three at home vs. Montreal and five of their last seven overall.

….Over the last seven meetings vs. Columbus the Canadiens are 2-4-1 and have been outscored 25-10. (that includes the infamous 10-0 shutout loss November 14th 2017 at Columbus, the largest margin of victory in Blue Jackets history).

….In his last seven games against the Canadiens Cam Atkinson has 6 goals, 3 assists. Nick Foligno has 2 goals, 4 assists over his last five.

….Charlie Lindgren has one career start vs. Columbus with a record of 0-0-1, a 1.96GAA and .920save%. He lost 2-1 in overtime Nov. 14th at the Bell Centre.

….Vs. the Canadiens Sergei Bobrovsky has a career record of 8-5-1 in 14 appearances – 1 shutout; 2.00GAA and .934save%.

About the Canadiens

….This is the final game of a six-game/twelve-day road trip. Through the first five games they are 1-3-1.

….On the road trip opponents have scored at least one power play goal in all five games – the Canadiens penalty kill has been 57.1% (7/21). At the same time the power play has scored one goal in 16 opportunities.

….The Canadiens have lost 12 of their last 15 games overall.

….The Canadiens have lost sixteen of their last eighteen games on the road (2-13-3) dating back to back-to-back wins they recorded Dec. 19th and 22nd in Calgary and Edmonton.

….In those last 18 road games the Canadiens have been outscored 60-30 and been limited to one goal or fewer ten times (three times shut out)

….The last time the Canadiens won only two of 18 road games in a stretch was Nov. 18, 2005 to Jan. 26, 2006 (2-14-2). During that stretch GM Bob Gainey fired coach Claude Julien and stepped behind the bench himself.

….With 20 of a possible 68 points on the road this season (9-21-4) the Canadiens are the worst road team in the league. On the 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 (Ottawa – 8)and a Canadiens record,

….In the 51 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 32 games (8-16-8).

….The Canadiens have won 6 of the last 24 games against Eastern Conference opponents.

….In his last 21 games Brendan Gallagher has 17 points including 8 goals, 9 assists.

….Alex Galchenyuk has four goals, 8 assists his last 16 games despite a four game and a three game points slump in that stretch. Galchenyuk has 8 points over his last nine road games.

….Galchenyuk has reached 40 points for the fourth time in his short career The only players in Canadiens history to reach 40 points four-times before the age of 25 were Henri Richard (6X) and Guy Lafleur (5X).

….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 18 games.

….Defenseman Mike Reilly was a Columbus draft pick in 2011 (4th round – 98th). He has five assists his six games with the Canadiens.

….With two primary assists vs. Tampa Charles Hudon now has six points his last injury interrupted seven games (1g 5a).

….Antti Niemi is 4-2-4 with the Canadiens. Over his last five starts he has a .951 save%.

….In the five games during their current road trip Canadiens penalty killers have given up 8 PPG in 21 times shorthanded.

….The Canadiens have lost 267 man-games due to injury. They are track for 317 for the season. Last season they lost 218 man games en-route to their 103 point season. The last time the Canadiens recorded more than 300 man games lost was 2015-16 (348). They also missed the playoffs.

….In terms of the 2018 NHL lottery, the Canadiens currently rank 27th in the league one point behind 26th place Detroit after 68 games. Vancouver is 3 points behind the Canadiens in 28th after 69 games and Ottawa five back in 29th after 67 games.

About the Blue Jackets

….The Blue Jackets hold down the second wild card spot in the East with 77 points, two more than Florida who hold three games in hand.

….A win over the Canadiens would move them ahead of New Jersey into the first wild card berth.

….Columbus has won five straight at home outscoring oppontents 20-10 over that stretch.

….The Columbus top line of Artemi Panaren, Pierre-Luc Dubois and Cam Atkinson has combined for 16 points (4g, 12a) and is plus-13 the last four games. Since being put together Feb 3rd they have 19 of the team’s 54 goals (35.2%).

….The rookie Dubois, a native of Ste. Agathe, was drafted third overall in 2016. He has 37 points (15g) in 69 games.

….In six games since joining the Blue Jackets at the trade deadline, Thomas Vanek has two goals, 1 assist. All three points have come in his last two games. He now has scored goals for eight different teams in his NHL career. (He scored 15 points in 18 games with the Canadiens in 2014).

….Vanek‘s season total of 44 points (19g, 25a) ranks him third on the Blue Jackets behind Panarin (60pts) and Seth Jones (46)

….The Blue Jackets have won five straight home games, outscoring opposition 20-10. They are 6-1-1 in their last seven at home.

….Columbus has a record of 20-6-5 in one-goal games this season.

….Defenseman Seth Jones is the Blue Jackets second highest points scorer with 46 (13g, 33a).

….Sergei Bobrovsky has allowed two goals or fewer in nine of his lasst 11 games. In that stretch he has a 7-3-1 record with a 2.10GAA and .927 save%.

….Only Carolina has had to use it’s penalty killers fewer times this season than Columbus who have had to kill penalties only 177 times. Their penalty killing still ranks 25th at 77.4%.

….Columbus has the worst power play in the league at 14.5%,

Goaltending –

….Charlie Lindgren has played in 12 games for the Canadiens this season with a 4-6-2 record, two shutouts, 2.78GAA and .914 save%

….Sergei Bobrovsky is 29-21-5 this season with 4 shutouts, a 2.43GAA and a .920 save%

Special Teams Power Play – Canadiens rank 17th (41/205) 20.0%. Columbus ranks 31st (28/193) 14.5%. Penalty Killing – Canadiens rank 27th (52/219) 76.3%. Columbus ranks 25th (40/177) 77.4%.

Projected Canadiens Lines & Pairings

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

65-Andrew Shaw 27-Alex Galchenyuk 62-Artturi Lehkonen

38-Nikita Scherbak 25-Jacob de la Rose 54-Charles Hudon

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

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

43-Daniel Carr 42-Byron Froese 20-Nicolas Deslauriers

28-Mike Reilly 26-Jeff Petry

22-Karl Alzner 58-Noah Juulsen

8-Jordie Benn 36-Brett Lernout

35-Charlie Lindgren

Healthy Scratches – LW Logan Shaw; D David Schlemko

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

Columbus Forward Lines & Pairings

9-Artemi Panarin 18-Pierre-Luc Dubois 13-Cam Atkinson

26-Thomas Vanek 10-Alexander Wennberg 38-Boone Jenner

22-Sonny Milano 71-Nick Folgno 28-Oliver Bjorkstrand

11-Matt Calvert 17-Brandon Dubinsky 55-Mark Letestu

8-Zach Werenski 3-Seth Jones

7-Jack Johnson 27-Ryan Murray

23-Ian Cole 58-David Savard

72-Sergei Bobrovsky

Injuries – D Markus Nutivaara (upper body); D Dean Kukan (IR upper body)

Healthy Scratches – RW Josh Anderson; D Scott Harrington; LW Markus Hannikainen; D Taylor Chorney; C Lukas Sedlak.