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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Montreal Canadiens: Game Preview

The Hurricanes look to complete the season sweep over the Canadiens.

Montreal Canadiens v Carolina Hurricanes Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images

Life for the Montreal Canadiens this season can absolutely be divided into before and after Martin St. Louis. The Canadiens were 8-30-7 under Dominique Ducharme, an embarrassing start to the season for a team that went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final the year prior. The hiring of St. Louis in February was met with skepticism, but something’s working: the team is 10-8-4 since the switch.

The Canadiens’ record since February 10, the first day of the St. Louis Era, has them on par with other playoff-bound teams. Their 24 points is tied with the Blues and Lightning and ahead of the Predators (22) and playoff-hopeful Golden Knights (17). Seeing the Canadiens play with energy and passion now, it’s easy to imagine a world where things never went wrong in the first place, where players were encouraged to have fun and be creative and be themselves.

Instead, the Canadiens were the first team eliminated this season. Now they’re just playing for pride, which can be a pretty powerful motivator. Their losses aren’t blowouts, they’re playing close games against talented teams, and they very well might enjoy getting to play spoiler down the stretch for teams jostling for position in the standings.

The Hurricanes and Canadiens have met twice this season, with the Hurricanes outscoring them 8-1. Those games were before St. Louis took over, so the Hurricanes need to be prepared to take on a hungrier, scrappier Canadiens team than they’ve seen previously.

For the final time this season, let’s see how these two teams compare before puck drop:

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Bruins
Category Hurricanes Bruins
Record 54-20-8 51-26-5
Goals/Game 3.38 3.08
Goals Against/Game 2.44 2.66
Shots/Game 34.12 36.12
Face Off Win % 53.9% 54.2%
Power Play % (Rank) 22.0% (13th) 21.2% (15th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 88.0% (1st) 81.3% (9th)
ES Corsi For % 43.86% 56.14%
ES PDO 113.44 86.56
PIM/Game 12:00 22:00

Goaltender #1

Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Category Frederik Andersen Linus Ullmark
Record 35-14-3 26-10-2
Save % .922 .917
GAA 2.17 2.45

Goaltender #2

Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Category Antti Raanta Jeremy Swayman
Record 15-5-4 23-14-3
Save % .912 .914
GAA 2.45 2.41

Game Notes

  • For the Canadiens, Tyler Pitlick is set to return to the lineup for the first time since March 26. Defenseman Jordan Harris, who just signed his ELC after finishing his college season, has been practicing with the team and should eventually play in a few games as the season winds down.
  • Ryan Poehling, injured earlier this month, is practicing but will not be in the lineup. Jake Evans was injured on Tuesday and did not practice.
  • Surprise! Ian Cole has a three-game point streak going. Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teravainen both have five-game streaks.
  • The Canadiens have allowed nine shorthanded goals against this season — the only team allowing more has been the New Jersey Devils.
  • The last time these teams met, the Hurricanes won 4-0, with no goals scored at even strength. Nino Niederreiter, Teuvo Teravainen, and Seth Jarvis all scored on the power play; Tervainen also scored shorthanded.
  • The only Canadiens player to score on the Hurricanes this season was Tyler Toffoli, who is now a Calgary Flame.