MONTREAL - Here are five things you need to know ahead of Thursday night's matchup against the Minnesota Wild at the Bell Centre.
1. The Canadiens are coming off a disappointing performance versus the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier in the week. After scoring first, their Atlantic Division rivals responded with three unanswered goals of their own in a span of 2:08 en route to posting a 3-1 win. Defenseman Jeff Petry was the lone Hab to solve Lightning netminder Andrei Vasilevskiy in the loss. The marker came on the power play, and was Petry's second goal of the season. He also finished the game with six shots on goal, which led all players on both teams. The Habs outshot the Lightning 34-22 on the night - including 14-6 in the third period alone - but it wasn't enough to complete the comeback.
Video: MTL Recap: Petry scores lone goal in 3-1 loss
2. The Canadiens held an optional skate at the Bell Sports Complex on Thursday morning. As expected, head coach Claude Julien confirmed a couple of lineup changes. Up front, Nick Cousins will make his Habs debut while Jordan Weal is a healthy scratch. On the back end, youngster Cale Fleury returns while Christian Folin will watch from the press box. Fleury was a healthy scratch for the last four games.
3. Captain Shea Weber leads all players on the Canadiens' roster with 25 points (6G, 19A) in 45 career games against the Wild. Entering Thursday night's contest, the veteran defenseman is still one power play goal away from reaching the century mark in that department. He ranks first among active blueliners in that category, and 12th all-time among NHL rearguards.
Video: Shea Weber makes a hand turkey for Thanksgiving
4. The Wild are off to a tough start to begin the 2019-20 campaign with just one win and three points through six games. Bruce Boudreau's contingent was most recently in action on Tuesday when they dropped a 4-2 decision to the Maple Leafs in Toronto. Defensemen Brad Hunt (2G, 2A), Ryan Suter (1G, 3A) and Jared Spurgeon (1G, 3A) lead the Wild with four points each. Alex Stalock will get the start in goal against the Habs. Interestingly enough, the two clubs will meet again over the weekend. The Canadiens will be in Minnesota on Sunday for an afternoon tilt at the Xcel Energy Center.
5. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. It's Calendar Night presented by Tim Hortons. Twenty-two thousand desk calendars will be distributed. A reminder that the Thursday night DJ Series presented by Monster Energy will feature Techtwelve this time around. You can watch the game on TSN2 and RDS, and listen to all the action on TSN Radio 690 and 98,5 fm. To purchase regular tickets, click here. To purchase tickets in conjunction with the special Centraide of Greater Montreal promotion, click here. You'll receive 15% off your 300-level tickets and donate $5 to a worthy cause.