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TOR@MTL: Five things you need to know

The Habs are looking to snap a two-game losing string on Saturday against the Maple Leafs

by Dan Braverman @CanadiensMTL /

MONTREAL - Here are five things you need to know ahead of Saturday's game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre.

1. The Habs are coming off a 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks at the Bell Centre on Thursday. In the loss, Nick Cousins scored his first goal as a Hab, while Joel Armia returned from a lower-body injury and added his fifth of the season. It was the first time in 2019-20 that the Canadiens lost twice in a row in regulation, and they'll be looking to reverse that trend on Saturday against Toronto.

Video: MTL Recap: Cousins, Armia score in 4-2 loss

2. Head coach Claude Julien didn't reveal any line or lineup changes at practice on Friday, opting instead to focus on a penalty kill that allowed two Sharks goals on three opportunities. While the Habs' power play has been a bright spot this season at 25% - placing it within the top-10 in the NHL - the same can't be said for their shorthanded efforts. Montreal currently has the second-worst P.K. in the League with a 67.6% efficacy rate, and they'll need a better showing when down a man if they are to stave off the likes of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner. Shortly before Saturday night's game, though, Julien confirmed one switch on defense versus Toronto. Mike Reilly will play in place of Brett Kulak.

3. If the penalty kill is in need of some work, the same can't be said for Max Domi. The 24-year-old leads the team with 10 points (3G, 7A) in as many games, and extended his points streak to seven games with an assist on Armia's marker. In fact, the Winnipeg-born forward has been held pointless in just two games so far this season. On Thursday, Domi was reunited with Jonathan Drouin, with Armia as the third man on the trio. Julien did not run line drills on Friday and opted not to hold a morning skate on Saturday, so we'll have to wait until his pregame media availability to find out about any line or lineup changes against Toronto.

Video: MTL@SJS: Armia craftily tips puck home in the circle

4. The Leafs, for their part, are playing the second game of a back-to-back on Saturday at the Bell Centre. They left for Montreal immediately following their 4-1 win over the Sharks at Scotiabank Arena on Friday. Jake Muzzin, Morgan Rielly, Ilya Mikheyev, and Matthews scored in the win, while Frederik Andersen made 16 saves for his sixth win of the season. This is the second of four meetings between the archrivals this season, with the Habs taking the first one 6-5 in a shootout after overcoming a 4-1 deficit earlier in the month in Toronto.

Video: Canadiens rally in 3rd, top Maple Leafs in SO

5. The game is part of the FANatic Saturdays series at the Bell Centre, with doors opening at 5:00 p.m. at the VIP entrance and at M2 Marche Montreal, and 5:30 p.m. for all other entrances. It's the Halloween Party at the Bell Centre, and fans in attendance are encouraged to dress up for the occasion. All those in attendance who are wearing a costume will be eligible to win a prize courtesy of Tricolore Sports (more info). This week, alum Sergio Momesso will be manning the photo booth by section 114 between 5:45 and 6:45 p.m. Exclusive prints from the Station 16 x Canadiens collection are available at the Tricolore Sports boutique at the Bell Centre; this game's print is by Eric Clement. The brand-new Coors Light VIP Experience begins on Saturday which will see one lucky winner get to take three shots on the ice during the second intermission for the chance to take home a $50,000 cash prize. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., and you can catch all the action on CBC, City, Sportsnet 1, and TVA Sports on television, and on TSN 690 and 98,5 fm on the radio. For tickets, click here.

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