Game Preview: CANADIENS (20-14-3) @ LIGHTNING (18-15-3)
TV: RDS, SNE – 7:30 p.m.
Atlantic Division rivals clash on Monday night as the Habs take on the Lightning on the road in Tampa Bay.
Having lost their last six matches, the Canadiens will look to get back in the win column against Jon Cooper’s troops. In their most recent outing, the Canadiens suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Eastern Conference leading Washington Capitals. Rookie forward Daniel Carr scored the lone marker for the Habs in the loss, while Andrei Markov and Alex Galchenyuk drew the assists.
Goaltender Mike Condon did his best to keep the Habs in the game, turning aside 30 of the 33 shots thrown on net by the Capitals. The strong performance earned the rookie netminder the start against the Lighting on Monday night, a team that Condon will face for the first time in his career.
The Lightning, who presently sit just four points back of the Canadiens, won their most recent contest on Saturday night against the Blue Jackets by the score of 5-2.
Tampa Bay sniper Steven Stamkos led the way for the Lightning, scoring both the game tying and game-winning goals, good for his 15th and 16th markers of the season.
In the Lightning camp, Ben Bishop was confirmed as Monday night’s starter and will face the Canadiens for the 15th time in his career. The 29-year-old has a career record of 10-1-2 against the Habs, including a goals against average of 1.53 and a save percentage of .941.
Michel Therrien and the Canadiens will have a couple new faces in the room as the team announced they had acquired goaltender Ben Scrivens from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for forward Zack Kassian. As a result the Canadiens assigned Dustin Tokarski to the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League. In addition, as Tom Gilbert is currently sidelined with a lower-body injury, the Canadiens called up defenseman Mark Barberio from the St. John’s IceCaps.
With regards to lineup changes coach Michel Therrien confirmed that Sven Andrighetto will make his return to the lineup Monday night, while Devante Smith-Pelly will sit. Both Barberio and Greg Pateryn will play on the back end, while Jarred Tinordi and Alexei Emelin will be healthy scratches. Mike Condon gets the start in goal.
Puck drop is set for 7:30 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay.