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Blue Jackets at Canadiens preview

Weber likely to play for Montreal despite illness; Merzlikins starts in goal for Columbus

by Sean Farrell / Independent Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (6-8-3) at CANADIENS (9-5-3)

7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, TSN2, RDS, FS-O, NHL.TV


The Game

Shea Weber is expected to be in the lineup for the Montreal Canadiens when they face the Columbus Blue Jackets at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Weber did not take part in the morning skate after missing practice because of illness Monday, but Montreal coach Claude Julien said he will likely play against Columbus. 

The 34-year-old defenseman scored his 100th and 101st power-play goals in a 3-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, the Canadiens' fifth win in seven games (5-1-1).

The Blue Jackets will be without forward Nick Foligno, who will serve the first of a three-game suspension for elbowing Colorado Avalanche forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare on Saturday.

Columbus has one win in the past seven games (1-5-1). The Blue Jackets have been outscored 26-14 over that stretch.


Players to watch

Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins makes his first start since being recalled from Cleveland of the American Hockey League on Monday. He is 0-1-2 with a 3.91 goals-against average and .882 save percentage in four games this season with Columbus. 

Canadiens goalie Carey Price is 6-2-1 with a 2.36 GAA, .924 save percentage and one shutout in his past nine starts. He needs one win to tie Harry Lumley (330) for 26th place on the NHL all-time list.


They said it

"It's going to be a very intense game, two hard-working teams, but we've got things to work on." -- Blue Jackets forward Pierre-Luc Dubois

"Any time you play a team that's below the playoff line I think you've got to be worried. They're going to be a hungry team and a desperate team. I know if we were in that situation we'd be coming out pretty hungry, so I think you have to be prepared." -- Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Gustav Nyquist -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Sonny Milano -- Boone Jenner -- Josh Anderson

Alexandre Texier -- Alexander Wennberg -- Cam Atkinson

Eric Robinson -- Riley Nash -- Emil Bemstrom

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Vladislav Gavrikov -- David Savard

Scott Harrington -- Dean Kukan

Elvis Merzlikins

Joonas Korpisalo

Scratched: Ryan Murray, Kole Sherwood 

Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (wrist), Markus Nutivaara 

Suspended: Nick Foligno


Canadiens projected lineup

Jonathan Drouin -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Paul Byron-- Max Domi -- Joel Armia

Tomas Tatar -- Nick Suzuki -- Artturi Lehkonen 

Ryan Poehling -- Nate Thompson -- Nick Cousins

Victor Mete -- Shea Weber

Ben Chiarot -- Jeff Petry

Brett Kulak -- Cale Fleury

Carey Price

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Jordan Weal, Mike Reilly, Christian Folin

Injured: Jesperi Kotkaniemi (groin)

Status report

The Blue Jackets assigned defenseman Adam Clendening to Cleveland and activated Murray (hand) from injured reserve Tuesday. Murray, who was out the past six games, could play. Robinson will make his season debut. … If Weber plays, the Canadiens will use the same lineup as Saturday.


Stat pack

Nyquist has 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in eight road games. … Weber has seven points (four goals, three assists) in his past six games. … Tatar has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past seven games.

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