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Sports: Canadiens at Panthers: Five things you should know

Flyers at Canadiens: Five things you should know

  Flyers at Canadiens: Five things you should know Here are five things you should know about Thursday’s game between the Canadiens (6-21-3) and the Philadelphia Flyers (11-12-4) at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). Canadiens really struggling: The Canadiens’ winless streak hit seven games (0-6-1) with Tuesday night’s 5-2 loss to the Penguins in Pittsburgh. The Canadiens have been outscored 24-10 during those seven games and have scored two goals or fewer in 22 of their 30 games this season, including each of their last four games. The Canadiens are 4-10-1 at home and 2-11-2 on the road. They haven’t won two games in a row all season.

Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault deflects the shot of Hurricanes' Andrei Svechnikov on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, in Raleigh, N.C. © Provided by The Gazette Canadiens goaltender Sam Montembeault deflects the shot of Hurricanes' Andrei Svechnikov on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021, in Raleigh, N.C.

Here are five things you should know about the Canadiens-Panthers game at FLA Live Arena on Saturday (1 p.m , TSN2, RDS, TSN-690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

The matchup: This is the finale in a three-game road trip for the Canadiens, who secured an overtime point in Tampa on Tuesday before being shut out 4-0 in Carolina on Thursday. Montreal is in last place in the Atlantic Division with a 7-22-4 record. The Canadiens have the NHL’s worst road record at 2-12-3. Florida is second in the Atlantic Division with a 20-7-4 mark after routing Tampa Bay 9-3 on Thursday. The Panthers, who have an NHL-best record of 16-3-0 at home, are two points behind the first place Lightning in the division and also hold a game in hand.

Stu Cowan: Nine men out as Canadiens brace for NHL restart in Tampa

  Stu Cowan: Nine men out as Canadiens brace for NHL restart in Tampa Ready to play NHL Survivor? That’s what the rest of this season could look like as the NHL tries to keep playing games despite the exploding number of COVID-19 cases as a result of the Omicron variant. On Monday afternoon, the Canadiens flew to Tampa, where they are scheduled to play the Lightning on Tuesday (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM). The Canadiens made the trip without nine players who are on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. Goalie Jake Allen, Ben Chiarot, Joel Edmundson, Jeff Petry and Chris Wideman were added to the list before practice Monday morning in Brossard, joining Laurent Dauphin, Mike Hoffman, Artturi Lehkonen and Tyler Toffoli.

The goaltenders: Montreal’s special teams were anything but Thursday as they let Sam Montembeault down. Montembeault, who will be facing his old team, was perfect in 5-on-5 situations, but the Hurricanes scored three power-play goals and added a shorthanded goal. He has given up at least three goals in each of his eight starts and he has a 1-5-2 record with a 3.85 goals-against average and an .892 save percentage. The Panthers are expected to start two-time Vézina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky. The Russian veteran has a 13-3-2 record with a 2.49 GAA and a .917 save percentage. Bobrovsky has an 11-7-1 lifetime record against Montreal with a 2.32 GAA.

Where’s the offence: Scoring goals has been a challenge for the Canadiens. They are averaging 2.12 goals a game and the only team with a worse record is Arizona at 2.10. Nick Suzuki is Montreal’s leading scorer with 18 points, including six goals. But Suzuki has gone six games without a point and it has been difficult for him to develop chemistry with a rotating cast of characters as his linemates. Suzuki did have some chemistry with Cole Caufield in the playoffs, but Caufield is struggling in his first full pro season. Caufield has a goal and six assists and hasn’t lived up to his reputation as a sniper. He has 61 shots on goal for a shooting percentage of 1.6 per cent.

Game Day Notebook: Two players set to make NHL debuts with Canadiens

  Game Day Notebook: Two players set to make NHL debuts with Canadiens Maxime Lagace will be in goal for the Lightning after getting called up from the AHL’s Syracuse Crunch, where he had a 3-3-0 record with a 3.86 goals-against average and a .861 save percentage. Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme said Cayden Primeau will start in goal Thursday night when the Canadiens play the Hurricanes in Carolina. Primeau was called up from the AHL’s Laval Rocket on Monday after Allen was placed on the protocol list. Bon matin, les gars. ????Game day in the Sunshine State.#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.

There’s a life after COVID: Jonathan Huberdeau emerged from the NHL COVID protocol earlier this week and he didn’t take long to regain his form. Huberdeau had a five-point night — one goal and four assists — in the Panthers’ rout of the Lightning. The St-Jerome native leads the Panthers in scoring with 38 points. That’s good for fifth in the NHL scoring race and he’s tied for second in assists with 27. Another Quebecer, Pointe-Claire’s Anthony Duclair, is Florida’s leading goal-scorer with 12. He reached the 100-goal milestone Thursday with the first of his two goals. Aleksander Barkov has matched Huberdeau’s 11 goals and has 20 points despite missing 13 games with injuries.

Life with COVID: Brandon Baddock made his NHL debut Thursday against Carolina, but won’t  be in the lineup for this game because he was placed on the NHL COVID protocol Friday. The Canadiens are hoping he didn’t get too close to his new teammates because his positive test was taken before Thursday’s game, but the result didn’t arrive until Friday morning. The addition of Baddock means there are now 13 Montreal players in the protocol along with goaltending coach Eric Raymond. Brendan Gallagher has recovered from his bout with COVID, but he’ll likely miss the Florida game with a lower-body injury he suffered midway through the Carolina game. He will be replaced by Cam Hillis, who will be playing his first NHL game.

Game Day Notebook: Two more Canadiens added to NHL COVID protocol list

  Game Day Notebook: Two more Canadiens added to NHL COVID protocol list Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme announced Thursday morning that two more of his players would be placed on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list. Ducharme wouldn’t name who the two players were after the team’s optional morning skate in Carolina, adding the names would be released later in the day as per NHL protocols. “I think there’s a procedure with the league there, so I’ll wait for everything to be confirmed and sent to the league and everything,” Ducharme said about the names of the two players being released.

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Canadiens at Blackhawks: Five things you should know .
Here are five things you should know about the Canadiens-Blackhawks game at United Center Thursday. (8:30 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN-690 Radio, 98.5 FM) The matchup: This is the second of two meetings between these Original Six teams and both teams have seen better days. The Canadiens are last in the Atlantic Division and have the worst winning percentage in the NFL after losing 5-1 in Boston Wednesday. Montreal is winless (0-3-1) in its last four games. The Blackhawks, who blanked the Canadiens 2-0 at the Bell Centre on Dec. 7, are seventh in the Central Division, but the Blackhawks have a modest two-game win streak after beating Columbus 4-2 Tuesday.

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