RALEIGH - Here are five things you need to know ahead of Thursday night's game against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.
1. Thursday's game kicks off the Canadiens' 111th season, and the current edition of the team features a handful of new faces. Veterans Ben Chiarot, Nick Cousins, and Keith Kinkaid are making their first trips as members of the Habs after signing with Montreal in the offseason, while rookies Nick Suzuki and Cale Fleury are also in Raleigh after finding out earlier in the week that they'd made the team out of training camp.
2. The Canadiens held their morning skate at PNC Arena on Thursday, and head coach Claude Julien featured the same lines he did the day before at practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. Those lines saw Suzuki skating on the right on a trio with Artturi Lehkonen on the left wing and Max Domi at center, while Fleury was paired up with Brett Kulak on the backend, meaning the 20-year-old youngsters are expected to make their NHL debuts against the Hurricanes.
3. The Hurricanes had the edge over the Habs in their 2018-19 season series, besting them 2-1 both at the Bell Centre in November and at PNC Arena in March. Montreal earned its lone win over Carolina, a 6-4 decision, at home on December 13. Phillip Danault was the Canadiens' leading point-getter against the Hurricanes with three (1G, 2A) last season. With four career goals and eight assists, Brendan Gallagher is Montreal's leading scorer vs. Carolina, while Jeff Petry, Nate Thompson, and Shea Weber all have 10 career points against the Hurricanes.
Video: Petry, big 3rd help Canadiens topple Hurricanes, 6-4
4. The Hurricanes are hoping to replicate their late-season success from last year. They finished in the first Wild Card position in the East with a 46-29-7 record, good for 99 points, and used their ticket to the postseason to move past the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders on their way to the Conference Final, where they were swept by the Boston Bruins. They posted a 2-3-1 record in six preseason contests this September.
5. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. You can catch all the action on TSN2 and RDS on television, and on TSN 690 and 98,5 fm on the radio.