Following their 3-2 overtime win over the Senators on Saturday afternoon in Ottawa, the Canadiens were back skating at the Bell Sports Complex on Sunday morning before boarding an afternoon flight to Toronto for a game against the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre at 7 p.m.
- Fifteen of the 21 players making the trip to Toronto hit the ice in preparation for the Canadiens' fifth contest of the preseason, including forwards David Desharnais, Sven Andrighetto, Daniel Carr and Artturi Lehkonen up front, and Greg Pateryn, Nathan Beaulieu, Jeff Petry and Mikhail Sergachev on the back end.
- Speaking of Petry and Sergachev, the two will be paired together on Sunday night and will be looking to do their utmost to slow down a Maple Leafs lineup that includes offensive threats aplenty in Auston Matthews, Nazem Kadri, Mitch Marner, James Van Riemsdyk, Leo Komarov and Tyler Bozak.
The Canadiens' most recent first-round pick believes he's up to the challenge that awaits him and the rest of the squad later on this evening.
"I think I got some experience from the first game. I know some things, how to do them on the ice. I'm pretty confident about this game," said Sergachev, who logged just under 20 minutes of ice time in his preseason debut on Thursday night in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Senators at the Bell Centre - and picked up an assist and five hits along the way. "It's a new test for me, to handle that pressure from Toronto fans and from the team. It's pretty exciting. I'm just looking forward to that."
Video: Mikhail Sergachev on playing at the ACC
While the 18-year-old Russian rearguard isn't at all familiar with the ACC, he is familiar with Matthews' skill set having gone up against him in recent years.
"I've played against him a couple of times in Under-18s," recalled Sergachev. "He's a pretty good player. It's going to be fun to play against him [again]."
- When it comes to playing alongside a talented youngster like Sergachev, Petry insists the most important thing the pair can do is keep an open dialogue going all game long while sticking to their respective strengths.
"I think [I won't] change my game at all, but with a young guy, just kind of have that communication off the ice, especially with not playing with each other [before]. I just think we need to communicate on and off the ice," stressed Petry, who is clearly intrigued by several facets of Sergachev's game. "I haven't seen a whole lot. I've only practiced with him two times, but he's a big guy and he has a really good shot. That's what I've noticed so far."
- General manager Marc Bergevin announced on Sunday that 24 players had been released from training camp, with 21 of them having been reassigned to the St. John's IceCaps of the American Hockey League.
Stefan Matteau is among the 36 players still vying for a roster spot in Montreal, though, and he has a good idea of what it will take for him to remain with the big club going forward - consistency.
"Now, it's even more important. Every day is more and more important. Things went well yesterday [against the Senators], but it's over now," shared Matteau, who will get another opportunity to suit up on Sunday night. "I need to start again today."
Matteau says there are several keys to his strong showing at training camp so far, all of which have helped him stick around through the first major wave of cuts.
"I think it's my confidence and the shape that I'm in," explained Matteau. "I know the kind of situation that I'm in and I need to be at my best every day. I know how I have to perform to stay. I'm working as hard as I can."
- Mike Condon will get the start in goal for the Canadiens. Charlie Lindgren will serve as the back-up netminder.
- Sunday night's contest will be broadcast on TV on Sportsnet ONE and RDS, as well as on TSN 690 and 98.5 fm.