SHARKS (14-14-1) @ CANADIENS (20-8-3)
TV: RDS, SNE 7:30 p.m.
The Canadiens welcome the San Jose Sharks to the Bell Centre Tuesday night in the first matchup between the two teams this season.
Following their game against the Sharks, the Canadiens are set to face off against the Los Angeles Kings at home on Thursday night before embarking on an eight game road trip. The extended road swing has the team returning home to Montreal to face the New Jersey Devils on January 6, 2016.
Interestingly, the last four games between Montreal and San Jose have all ended in shutouts. The Habs came away with a 2-0 blanking of the Sharks in the most recent clash, snapping San Jose’s streak of three consecutive shutouts against the Habs.
While both teams had a strong start to the 2015-16 season, the two combatants are presently battling through adversity.
The Habs halted a four game losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, while the Sharks are struggling to find their first win in the month of December (0-5-1), with their last victory dating back to November 30, against the Calgary Flames.
Torrey Mitchell made his return to practice with teammates in Brossard, forcing Michel Therrien to remove rookie Charles Hudon from the lineup. Mitchell has missed the last eleven games due to a lower body injury and is expected to return to the lineup Tuesday night.
At practice, Mitchell centered a line with Sven Andrighetto and Brian Flynn. Therefore, Daniel Carr should remain alongside line-mates David Desharnais and Tomas Fleischmann. No other changes are expected in the formation of Michel Therrien as Dustin Tokarski will get his third consecutive start in goal. In San Jose’s camp, it is still unclear who will defend the net for the visiting Sharks.
On the injury front, Logan Couture - who was limited to just five games this season - will not be available Tuesday night. The Sharks’ second leading scorer last season had surgery on his right leg thigh on Thursday and will be out indefinitely. The San Jose sniper had just made his return to the lineup on December 8, after missing 23 games.