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Canadiens at Kings preview

Montoya to start for Montreal; forward Auger will make NHL debut for Los Angeles

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Correspondent

CANADIENS (1-4-1) at KINGS (4-0-1)

10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Montreal Canadiens and Los Angeles Kings are trending in different directions heading into their game at Staples Center on Wednesday.

Goaltender Al Montoya will make his first start of the season for Montreal, which has lost five straight and has scored nine goals through six games. 

The Kings have won two straight games and are the only team in the NHL that has yet to lose in regulation. That hasn't stopped coach John Stevens from tinkering to try to get more production from his third line. Forward Justin Auger will make his NHL debut and is expected to be on that line with Michael Cammalleri, who will return after being scratched for the past two games. Auger (6-foot-6, 232 pounds) was recalled from Ontario of the American Hockey League on Tuesday.

Video: LAK@ANA: Auger slams home rebound for PPG in the 1st

 

Players to watch

Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty scored his only goal in the season-opening win against the Buffalo Sabres. Pacioretty does not have a point in his past five games and is minus-5 in that span.

Kings defenseman Drew Doughty has a two-game goal streak, having scored the game-winner in each. Doughty played a season-low 20:40 against the New York Islanders on Sunday but was fresh and at his best when called on to play 8:48 in the third period.

Video: NYI@LAK: Doughty taps in Kopitar's pass for SHG

 

They said it

"The biggest thing for us is we're being tested right now and we've got to find a way to stick together in here and battle through it." -- Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber

"Just thought he was a different look. Big guy that's good on the wall that can play a north-south game. We liked his progression, so we thought we'd get him up and get him involved in practice and get a look at him." -- Kings coach John Stevens on forward Justin Auger

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Jonathan Drouin -- Artturi Lehkonen

Paul Byron -- Tomas Plekanec -- Brendan Gallagher

Charles Hudon -- Phillip Danault -- Andrew Shaw 

Alex Galchenyuk -- Torrey Mitchell -- Ales Hemsky

Victor Mete -- Shea Weber

Karl Alzner -- Jeff Petry 

Joe Morrow -- Brandon Davidson

Al Montoya

Carey Price

Scratched: Jacob De La Rose, Jordie Benn

Injured: David Schlemko (hand)

 

Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Tyler Toffoli

Michael Cammalleri -- Adrian Kempe -- Justin Auger

Andy Andreoff -- Nick Shore -- Trevor Lewis 

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez

Christian Folin -- Oscar Fantenberg 

Jonathan Quick 

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Nic Dowd, Kurtis MacDermid

Injured: Kyle Clifford (upper body), Marian Gaborik (knee)

 

Status report

Schelmko is expected to miss 3-4 weeks after the defenseman had surgery Wednesday to remove a bone fragment in his right hand. ... The Kings assigned forward Jonny Brodzinski to Ontario on Tuesday. He did not have a point in three games.

 

Stat pack

Drouin (two goals, three assists) is the only Montreal player with more than one goal. The Canadiens have been outscored 8-3 in the second period. … The Kings have outscored opponents 6-1 in the second.

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