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MTL@TOR: What you need to know

Entertaining hockey awaits as the Canadiens visit Auston Matthews and company on Thursday night

by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

TORONTO - The Canadiens' road trip continues with the first of two straight games against the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Arena.

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Here's everything you need to know heading into the game:

Looking back

The Canadiens' winning streak was snapped at three games on Wednesday night when Dominique Ducharme's troops suffered a 5-1 loss to the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Shane Pinto, Brady Tkachuk, Nick Paul, Connor Brown and Alex Formenton scored for Ottawa, while Montreal's lone goal came courtesy of defenseman Joel Edmundson. It was Edmundson's third goal of the season and his first since March 20. Goaltender Jake Allen made 29 saves for the Canadiens, while his counterpart Anton Forsberg turned aside 30 shots to pick up the victory. Montreal posted a 4-4-2 record in 10 games against Ottawa this season.

Tweet from @PR_NHL: The @CanadiensMTL can become the fourth and final piece of the Scotia North Division playoff puzzle when they face the Maple Leafs tonight in a potential First Round preview. #NHLStats pic.twitter.com/0nOmTarju7

Watch list

Still going strong: With an assist on Edmundson's tally in the first period, centreman Nick Suzuki extended his point streak to seven consecutive games. He has 11 points (4 goals, 7 assists) during that span. The 21-year-old centreman previously accomplished the feat in January when he started the season with the same run. He amassed seven points (2 goals, 5 assists) during that span. The London, ON native, who has 38 points (12 goals, 26 assists) in 52 games, needs just three points to match his total from his standout rookie season. That could very well happen in Toronto. Suzuki has seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in eight games versus the Maple Leafs this year.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Si vous aimez les moustaches et les buts, ce tweet est pour vous.If you like moustaches and goals, then this tweet is for you.#GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/x0tMTELyvN

The chase: Right-winger Tyler Toffoli's goal streak was snapped at three games on Wednesday night, but he still managed to collect a helper on Edmundson's snipe. With a team-leading 28 goals on the year, he needs just three more goals to match his career-high. Toffoli has four games left to do it, and given his penchant for lighting the lamp on a regular basis, expect him to rebound rather quickly after being denied in the nation's capital. The nine-year veteran has three goals in eight games against Toronto this season.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Enlever la ligne de tir de Nick Suzuki... ��a donne ��a. 😏 That pass by Suzy tho. #GoHabsGo pic.twitter.com/B48FcmP2Gq

Cayden gets the call: Given the back-to-back situation, goaltender Cayden Primeau will start on Thursday night. It will be his third outing of the season with Montreal. The 21-year-old American was most recently in action on May 1 when he stopped 21 shots in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Senators at the Bell Centre. Primeau has a 1-1-0 record with Ducharme's contingent, along with a 2.96 goals-against average and a .893 save percentage. The youngster has yet to participate in the storied Canadiens-Maple Leafs rivalry in his career, so this will undoubtedly be a special experience.

Video: At home with Cayden Primeau


At the other end

The Maple Leafs are coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the Canadiens on Monday night at the Bell Centre, which snapped their five-game winning streak. Defenseman Morgan Rielly and centreman Auston Matthews scored for Sheldon Keefe's contingent, but Toronto surrendered the game-tying goal with just 52 seconds remaining in regulation, before falling in the extra frame. Goaltender Jack Campbell made 19 saves in the defeat.

Tweet from @MapleLeafs: Hand-eye on 💯#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/zJJ9cq83mI

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Within reach: Matthews is just one goal shy of reaching the 40-goal mark for the second consecutive season and the third time in his NHL career. The League's leading goalscorer registered 40 goals in his rookie campaign in 2016-17 and lit the lamp a career-high 47 times last year as well. After scoring earlier in the week against Montreal, Matthews extended his goal streak to four straight games. He has five goals during that span. The 23-year-old San Ramon, CA native, who boasts 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists) versus the Canadiens this season, is one game-winning goal away from tying the single-season franchise record of 13 set by Charlie Conacher in 1934-35. He's also three goals shy of 200 in the NHL ranks.

Tweet from @MapleLeafs: BIG mood! 😤#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/LiaYGJuZlx

Still got it: At 41 years old, Joe Thornton continues to deliver the goods offensively. With the secondary assist on Matthews' marker, the veteran forward extended his point streak to six games. He has six points (2 goals, 4 assists) during that span. Thornton boasts 18 points (5 goals, 13 assists) in 40 games this season. If he collects a point on Thursday night, Thornton would become the fourth player in NHL history to record a point streak of seven-plus games at his age or older, joining Jaromir Jagr (7 games), Igor Larionov (8 games) and Teemu Selanne (9 games). No doubt the former first-overall selection of the Boston Bruins in 1997 will be a valuable asset to the Maple Leafs in the playoffs given his wealth of postseason experience. The London, ON native has played in 179 career playoff games with Boston and San Jose, amassing 133 points (31 goals, 102 assists) along the way.

Fine numbers: Campbell was less than 60 seconds away from his fifth consecutive win between the pipes on Monday night, but it wasn't meant to be. Nevertheless, his stats against the Canadiens this season are still rather good. He has compiled a 2-1-1 record in four games, along with a 2.23 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage. The 29-year-old Port Huron, MI native is enjoying a memorable campaign for Toronto. His 15-2-2 record in 19 games is impressive, as are his 2.11 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. Campbell was drafted 11th overall by the Dallas Stars in 2010.

Tweet from @MapleLeafs: Just wow 😳#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/Gyrp9SJiok


On paper

Here are a few key stats from the eight previous meetings between Montreal and Toronto this season:

MONTREAL   TORONTO
3-4-1 Record 5-2-1
21 Goals 26
240 Shots on goal 222
25% PP% 28.57%
71.43% PK% 75%

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET. You can watch the game on TSN2, TSN4 and RDS, and listen to all the action on TSN Radio 690 and 98,5 fm.

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