BLUE JACKETS (26-27-3) @ CANADIENS (37-16-5)
The Canadiens will look to put an end to their sudden two game slide on Saturday against the visiting Blue Jackets.
Despite jumping out to a 2-0 lead against Florida on Thursday thanks to a pair of goals from Brendan Gallagher which allowed the 22-year-old forward to hit the 100 career points plateau, the Habs eventually fell 3-2 to the Panthers in the sixth round of a shootout. The loss marked Carey Price’s first in his last seven starts, and just his second in his last 12.
Also in action on Thursday night, Columbus’ Brandon Dubinsky snapped a third-period deadlock with less than three minutes to go to give the Jackets the 2-1 win in Pittsburgh. Scott Hartnell also scored for the visitors while Curtis McElhinney made 26 saves for his tenth win of the season.
Filling in for injured starter Sergei Bobrovsky, McElhinney should be back in goal for Columbus on Saturday in Montreal. On the opposite end of the ice, Carey Price, who won the last game between the two teams 3-2 on January 14, should also be between the pipes for the Habs.
Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed on Saturday that P.K. Subban will suit up against the Jackets.
Alex Galchenyuk meanwhile, currently suffering from the flu, will once again be replaced by Manny Malhotra up front, leaving Thursday’s lineup against Florida intact.
Todd Richards’ squad arrives in Montreal for the fourth game of a five-game road trip, having won two of their last three. The Habs meanwhile have won three of their last five at the Bell Centre, and are ranked third overall for home wins with 44 points.
The Habs and Blue Jackets will meet one more time this season following Saturday’s game, next Thursday in the Buckeye State.