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Preview: Oilers at Canadiens

Connor McDavid to play 100th NHL game for Edmonton; Phillip Danault likely out for Montreal

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

OILERS (28-18-8) at CANADIENS (30-16-7)

1 p.m. ET; SN, RDS, NHL.TV

 

Oilers team scope

Edmonton Oilers captain Connor McDavid will play his 100th NHL game. McDavid, who leads the League with 60 points in 54 games, has 108 points through his first 99 games (1.09 points per game). He would like to celebrate the milestone with a win to end a three-game losing streak. "There's obviously a sense of urgency now," McDavid told the Edmonton Sun after a 2-1 loss at the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. "We understand that in the playoff race stuff happens quick, stuff changes quick, and we have to nip these in the bud. Three tough ones." McDavid scored his 18th goal at 8:04 of the second period Friday. He got a replacement stick from the bench and immediately got the puck and skated in to score with a backhand that ended Edmonton's streak of 111:17 without a goal. The Oilers will play their third road game in four days. "In an 82-game schedule, the top teams go through spells where it doesn't go their way," coach Todd McLellan said Friday. "We were winning the one-goal games three weeks ago and now we're finding a way to be one goal short. But we'll fix it."

 

Canadiens team scope

Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien will likely adjust his lines if center Phillip Danault is unable to play because of an upper-body injury he sustained in the third period of a 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Danault, who did not return, is a game-time decision and could be replaced by David Desharnais, who was a healthy scratch for the first of Montreal's two Super Bowl weekend matinee games at Bell Centre. Desharnais could move from left wing, where he played his first two games back after missing 24 because of a knee injury he sustained Dec. 6, to his natural position at center. On Saturday, Therrien said Desharnais was healthy and that it was a hard decision to keep him out for the second time this season, but he wanted to bring back forward Sven Andrighetto, who was a healthy scratch for a 3-1 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday. "It's never an easy decision to take a veteran out," Therrien said. "Andrighetto's been playing good hockey lately, so it was much more to get Andrighetto in than to take David out." Center Alex Galchenyuk moved between Max Pacioretty and Alexander Radulov on the top line after Danault was injured and will likely remain there.

 

Oilers projected lineup

Leon Draisaitl -- Connor McDavid -- Patrick Maroon

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jordan Eberle

Benoit Pouliot -- Drake Caggiula -- Anton Slepyshev

Matt Hendricks -- Mark Letestu -- Zack Kassian

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell

Brandon Davidson -- Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Anton Lander, Jordan Oesterle, Griffin Reinhart 

Injured: Andrew Ference (lower body), Jujhar Khaira (upper body), Darnell Nurse (ankle), Tyler Pitlick (knee), Matt Benning (undisclosed)

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Alexander Radulov

Artturi Lehkonen -- Tomas Plekanec -- Paul Byron

Sven Andrighetto -- David Desharnais -- Andrew Shaw

Jacob De La Rose -- Torrey Mitchell -- Brian Flynn

Alexei Emelin -- Shea Weber

Nathan Beaulieu -- Jeff Petry

Andrei Markov -- Nikita Nesterov

Al Montoya

Carey Price

Scratched: Greg Pateryn  

Injured: Phillip Danault (upper body), Brendan Gallagher (hand)

 

Status report

The Oilers recalled defensemen Oesterle and Reinhart from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Saturday. Benning and Khaira were placed on injured reserve. 

 

Who's hot

McDavid has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past nine games. … Draisaitl has nine points in nine games (four goals, five assists). ... Radulov has a goal and three assists in his past two games, and nine points (three goals, six assists) in seven games. … Pacioretty has five points in his past three games (four goals, one assist).

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