MONTREAL - Here are five things you need to know about Monday night's game against the Calgary Flames at the Bell Centre.
1. The Canadiens are coming off their first win of 2020, a 2-1 overtime victory over the Senators in Ottawa on Saturday night. Nick Suzuki opened the scoring with a precision shot on the power play for his ninth of the season and fourth on the power play. The Habs held onto the lead for much of the rest of the game, but the Sens replied with 6:28 to go in regulation to force extra time. In overtime, newcomer Ilya Kovalchuk netted the winner for his first with Montreal. Carey Price made a season-high 41 saves in the win.
2. Kovalchuk's marker could not have come at a better time for the Habs, as it helped end their eight-game losing skid. The Russian sniper has looked right at home in bleu-blanc-rouge, putting up four points (1G, 3A) in as many games since joining Montreal. The goal was Kovalchuk's 16th career regular season overtime tally, which moved him into a tie for third all-time in the NHL with Patrik Elias and Daniel Sedin in that category. Suzuki, meanwhile, sits fourth in the rookie scoring race with 27 points (9G, 18A), and is tied for third in goals among first-year skaters.
3. After having the day off on Sunday, the Habs were back for a full morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex on Monday. Defenseman Ben Chiarot was back on the ice and was paired up with captain Shea Weber. Head coach Claude Julien confirmed after the skate that the 28-year-old would indeed return to the lineup against Calgary. The same can't be said for Brendan Gallagher, however, who did not take part in the skate. There would be some changes up front nonetheless, with Jordan Weal likely to draw in in place of Matthew Peca. Carey Price was in the starter's net in Brossard, so expect him to face the Flames.
4. For their part, the Flames have started 2020 - pardon the pun - red-hot and on fire. After losing its last two games of the previous decade, Calgary has gone on a tear in January, winning five straight games to start the year, with only one of those contests requiring extra time. Forward Johnny Gaudreau has led his squad with seven points (3G, 4A) so far in January, including one goal and one assist in the Flames' 4-3 win over their provincial rivals, the Edmonton Oilers, on Saturday night. Gaudreau (13G, 25A) is tied with Matthew Tkachuk (15G, 23A) as the top point-getter on Calgary with 38 apiece.
5. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Bell Centre. You can catch all the action on TSN2, Sportsnet West, and RDS on television, and on TSN 690 and 98,5 fm on the radio. For tickets to the game, click here.