MONTREAL - Here are five things you need to know ahead of Thursday night's matchup against the Detroit Red Wings at the Bell Centre.
1. After playing three-straight road games to begin the season, the Canadiens finally have the opportunity to play in front of their home fans. Claude Julien's contingent picked up four out of a possible six points in enemy territory over the last week, most recently dropping a 5-4 overtime decision to the Sabres in Buffalo on Wednesday. In fact, it marked the first time in team history that the Canadiens began a campaign with their first three games requiring an extra frame. Sabres forward Marcus Johansson settled the score just 90 seconds into overtime at the KeyBank Center after the Habs rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period on goals by Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Ben Chiarot. Meanwhile, Joel Armia scored twice, including a short-handed goal and another on the power play.
Video: MTL Recap: Armia scores twice, adds assist in OT loss
2. During his pregame press conference, Julien confirmed only one lineup change with Carey Price getting the start in goal. He boasts an impressive 15-4-1 record in 20 career outings against Detroit, along with a 1.89 goals-against average and a .933 save percentage. Defensemen Cale Fleury and Brett Kulak will be healthy scratches for a second-straight game, as Julien elected to keep the tandem of Christian Folin and Mike Reilly intact on the back end.
Video: MTL@CAR: Price reaches back to rob Haula
3. Both Artturi Lehkonen (3A) and Jonathan Drouin (1G, 2A) will be riding three-game point streaks into the Canadiens' home opener. While Lehkonen has three career goals against Detroit, Drouin has done significant damage to the Habs' Atlantic Division counterparts over the years with five goals and 18 points in 15 meetings. The 24-year-old forward has more assists and points against the Red Wings than any other NHL team since debuting in 2014-15 with the Tampa Bay Lightning. The only Canadiens with more career points against Detroit are captain Shea Weber (32 points) and assistant captain Brendan Gallagher (20 points).
Video: DET@MTL: Drouin beats Howard on a penalty shot
4. After downing the Nashville Predators on the road and the Dallas Stars at home, the Red Wings are coming off their first loss of the season - falling 3-1 to the Anaheim Ducks at Little Caesars Arena on Tuesday. No doubt Longueuil native Anthony Mantha will be hungry to help Detroit right the ship in his home province. Mantha leads Jeff Blashill's squad with five goals and seven points through three games. That includes his remarkable four-goal effort against Dallas on October 6. Jonathan Bernier will get the start in goal for the Red Wings.
5. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., but fans attending the game are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:45 p.m. for the pre-game festivities, including the player introductions. DJ YO-C will also be on site to pump up the crowd during intermissions in conjunction with the Thursday night DJ series. You can watch the Canadiens' home opener on TSN2 and RDS, and listen to all the action on TSN Radio 690 and 98,5 fm.