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When the Habs meet an expansion club...

A look at the Canadiens' record since the early 90s when facing an expansion team for the first time

by Vincent Régis, translated by Steven Nechay @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

MONTREAL - With a first-ever game against the Vegas Golden Knights in store for Tuesday night at the Bell Centre, the team at canadiens.com did a little digging to compile the Habs' record when welcoming expansion clubs to the NHL.

To keep things recent, the focus has been placed on the expansion window spanning the 1991-92 and 2000-01 seasons.

Relocated teams -- like the Carolina Hurricanes, Colorado Avalanche, and Phoenix Coyotes -- have also been excluded from the results.

Nine new teams were born over the nine-year span between 1991 and 2000, namely, the San Jose Sharks, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning, Anaheim Ducks, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators, Atlanta Thrashers, Minnesota Wild, and Columbus Blue Jackets.

  Season Date Home Away Result
1991-1992 1992/01/04 San Jose Montreal MTL 1, SJ 0 (OT)
1992-1993 1992/10/08 Ottawa Montreal OTT 5, MTL 3
1992-1993 1992/10/28 Montreal Tampa Bay MTL 4, TB 3
1993-1994 1993/10/23 Montreal Anaheim MTL 4, ANA 1
1993-1994 1993/11/10 Montreal Florida FLO 3, MTL 1
1998-1999 1998/12/12 Nashville Montreal MTL 2, NSH 2
1999-2000 1999/11/13 Montreal Atlanta MTL 4, ATL 2
2000-2001 2000/10/24 Montreal Minnesota MTL 2, MIN 2
2000-2001 2000/1/18 Montreal Columbus CLB 2, MTL 0

Of the nine initial dates against those nascent foes, the Habs have won four, lost three, and tied two. Against Western teams, Montreal has gone 2-1-2-0; Against Eastern teams, the team has put up a 2-2-0-0 record.

Like on Tuesday against Vegas, the Canadiens have welcomed expansion opponents to Montreal first on six occasions, going 3-2-1-0 at home.

Current associate coach Kirk Muller played in four of those inaugural matchups, registering four assists. Assistant coach Jean-Jacques Daigneault, meanwhile, played in six -- including one as a member of the Nashville Predators! -- but was held off the scoresheet.

Patrice Brisebois also played in six games opposite expansion adversaries for the first time, while Brian Bellows has had the most success against NHL newcomers, racking up four goals and five assists in four games.

The Canadiens' game against the Senators was also the Ontario club's first in the NHL, making for some pretty memorable pregame ceremonies...

Watch: Youtube Video

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