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Preview: Canadiens at Maple Leafs

Montreal coach Michel Therrien goes for 400th win; Toronto looks to extend point streak to eight games

by Dave McCarthy / Correspondent

CANADIENS (24-9-6) at MAPLE LEAFS (18-12-8)

7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports, NHL.TV


Canadiens team scope

Forward Alex Galchenyuk and defenseman Andrei Markov each practiced Friday and participated in the Montreal Canadiens optional morning skate Saturday but will not be in the lineup against the Toronto Maple Leafs. "They're close but they're not ready for tonight," coach Michel Therrien said. Forward Nikita Scherbak will make his NHL debut. "Obviously I'm nervous but I can control my emotions hopefully before the game, but it's a good nervous," Scherbak said. "It's not like I'm nervous about something, it's a good nervous because this is a dream." The 21-year-old was selected by the Canadiens (No. 26) in the 2014 NHL Draft. "He's got to adjust to the pace of the NHL, we know he has some skills," Therrien said. "That's part of the process for young players; you look at him this year compared to last year, he's improved a lot." The Canadiens have earned a point in five consecutive games, going beyond regulation in each game (3-0-2). A win would give Therrien 400 as an NHL coach.


Maple Leafs team scope

Frederik Andersen will make back-to-back starts for the third time this season, following a 4-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Friday. In two previous games this season, the Maple Leafs lost each game, 2-1, to the Canadiens. "We've had two good games with them," coach Mike Babcock said. "They find a way to win all the time. We've got to get tired of that and find a way to win ourselves." Babcock cautioned his players not to take the Canadiens lightly, even though they are dealing with injuries. "I think two parts: one, is you look at the lineup and you say, 'Oh, they're missing guys,' but the second part is they're all on audition for a job every night," Babcock said. "They've got a chance right now some guys to play more, they work, they compete, they know they've got to do. They're a lunch-bucket group; they get out there and really compete." Toronto will try to extend its streak to eight consecutive games earning at least one point (6-0-1). "I don't think we're really thinking about who's in or who's out for them," defenseman Morgan Reilly said. "We're approaching this like it's a huge two points because it is. We have a good thing going and we're not taking any games for granted or taking any nights off. We're coming in tonight with a killer instinct and we're going to try to win this thing."


Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Alexander Radulov

Artturi Lehkonen -- Tomas Plekanec -- Sven Andrighetto

Daniel Carr -- Torrey Mitchell -- Brian Flynn

Bobby Farnham -- Michael McCarron -- Nikita Scherbak

Alexei Emelin -- Shea Weber

Nathan Beaulieu -- Jeff Petry

Mark Barberio -- Ryan Johnston

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Zach Redmond, Chris Terry

Injured: Brendan Gallagher (hand), David Desharnais (knee), Alex Galchenyuk (knee), Andrew Shaw (concussion), Andrei Markov (groin), Paul Byron (upper body)


Maple Leafs projected lineup

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri -- William Nylander

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- Connor Brown

Matt Martin -- Frederik Gauthier -- Nikita Soshnikov

Morgan Rielly -- Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner -- Connor Carrick

Matt Hunwick -- Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen

Antoine Bibeau

Scratched: Josh Leivo, Frank Corrado

Injured: Ben Smith (upper body), Martin Marincin (lower body)


Status report

The Canadiens announced Friday that Gallagher will be out a minimum of eight weeks after having surgery to repair a fractured left hand. He was injured when he was hit on the hand by a Shea Weber shot in a 4-3 overtime win against the Dallas Stars on Wednesday. ... Smith and Marincin skated Saturday but Babcock said they aren't close to returning.


Who's hot

Pacioretty scored twice against Dallas on Wednesday and has four goals in his past four games, including the past two in overtime. ... Radulov is on a five-game point streak (three goals, three assists). ... Beaulieu scored and had two assists against Dallas and has five points in his past four games. ... Brown has three goals and two assists in his past three games. ... Matthews extended his point streak to eight games with a goal against the Devils on Friday. He has seven goals and five assists during that stretch.

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