MONTREAL - Here are five things you need to know ahead of Saturday night's game against the Colorado Avalanche at the Bell Centre.
1. The Canadiens will try to get back on the winning track on Saturday night at the Bell Centre. Claude Julien's troops returned from their two-game road trip with a win over the Detroit Red Wings before falling 4-1 to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night. At Saturday's morning skate, Julien made some big changes up front. Jonathan Drouin skated on a line with Phillip Danault and Brendan Gallagher, Max Domi centered a line with Artturi Lehkonen and Joel Armia, and Tomas Tatar was paired with Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Paul Byron. The fourth line, however, remained intact with Kenny Agostino, Michael Chaput and Nicolas Deslauriers. Carey Price will get the start in goal.
Video: MTL Recap: Gallagher scores lone goal in road loss
2. Brendan Gallagher was the Canadiens' lone goal-scorer on Thursday night at Enterprise Center. It was his team-leading 17th goal of the season. Max Domi and Tomas Tatar ranks second in that department with 14 goals each. At that pace, Gallagher is well on his way to reaching the 30-goal plateau for a second consecutive year. In 2017-18, Gallagher led the Habs with 31 goals in 82 games.
3. For their part, the Avalanche are in the midst of a rather tough stretch. Jared Bednar's club has just one win in their last nine games. They should be well-rested for Saturday night's contest, though, and hungry as well after suffering a 5-3 loss to the Flames in Calgary in their most recent outing on Wednesday. Mikko Rantanen leads Colorado with 68 points (20g - 48a) so far this season. Nathan MacKinnon (66 points) and Gabriel Landeskog (51 points) rank second and third, respectively, in that category. Semyon Varlamov will be between the pipes for Colorado.
4. Saturday night's game will be extra special because the Canadiens will be celebrating Youppi!'s 40th birthday. To mark the occasion, 22,000 "crazy hairs" will be distributed to fans upon entry into the Bell Centre. Likewise, mini birthday cupcakes will be available in sections 105 and 326. There will also be a dance contest on the ice featuring seven mascots from rival NHL teams.
Video: Youppi! trains with Cirque du Soleil performers
5. Puck drop on Saturday night is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST. You can watch all the action on Sportsnet and TVA Sports, and listen to the game on TSN Radio 690 and 98,5 fm. To purchase tickets, click here.