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Canadiens at Golden Knights preview

Suzuki to play former team for first time with Montreal; Schmidt, Tuch expected back for Vegas

by Danny Webster / Independent Correspondent




The Game

Nate Schmidt will return to the lineup, and Alex Tuch is expected to make his season debut for the Vegas Golden Knights when they host the Montreal Canadiens at T-Mobile Arena on Thursday.

Schmidt (lower body), a defenseman, played 3:11 in the season opener against the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 2 before colliding knees with Sharks forward Logan Couture. Tuch (upper body), a forward, has not played since sustaining an injury in a preseason game against the Los Angeles Kings on Sept. 27.

The Golden Knights have won six of their past nine games (6-3-0) after going 2-2-0 in their first four games. 

Montreal, winners of four of its past six games (4-2-0), is playing the second game of a back-to-back set after a 4-1 win against the Arizona Coyotes on Wednesday. Goalie Keith Kinkaid is expected to start.


Players to watch

Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki has four points (three goals, one assist) in his past six games. Suzuki, the No. 13 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft by the Golden Knights, will face Vegas for the first time. He and forward Tomas Tatar were traded to Montreal on Sept. 10, 2018 for forward Max Pacioretty.

Golden Knights center William Karlsson has scored in consecutive games after scoring one goal in his previous 11. 


They said it

"I'm excited. Definitely had it on my calendar. I never got to play [at T-Mobile Arena], so I'm looking forward to playing my first game there. Hopefully I can have a good game there and show my old team something." -- Canadiens forward Nick Suzuki, who was traded from the Golden Knights last season

"I'm just excited to get back and be at the form I want to be at. I thought I had a good summer, I thought I had a good camp. ... Maybe that was someone's way of saying I wasn't ready. It's been hard but at the same time, I'm just excited." -- Golden Knights defenseman Nate Schmidt


Canadiens projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Jonathan Drouin -- Max Domi -- Joel Armia

Artturi Lehkonen -- Jesperi Kotkaniemi -- Paul Byron

Nick Cousins -- Nate Thompson -- Nick Suzuki

Victor Mete -- Shea Weber

Ben Chiarot -- Jeff Petry

Mike Reilly -- Cale Fleury

Keith Kinkaid

Carey Price

Scratched: Brett Kulak, Christian Folin, Jordan Weal

Injured: None


Golden Knights projected lineup

Jonathan Marchessault -- William Karlsson -- Reilly Smith

Max Pacioretty -- Paul Stastny -- Mark Stone

Cody Glass -- Cody Eakin -- Alex Tuch

William Carrier -- Tomas Nosek -- Ryan Reaves

Brayden McNabb -- Nate Schmidt

Shea Theodore -- Deryk Engelland

Jon Merrill -- Nick Holden

Marc-Andre Fleury

Malcolm Subban

Scratched: Brandon Pirri

Injured: None

Suspended: Valentin Zykov


Status report

Montreal did not hold a morning skate. … Fleury is expected to make his league-leading 13th start. Subban returned to practice Monday and will back up Fleury. … Tuch is expected to skate on the third line, and Schmidt is expected to be paired with McNabb.


Stat pack

Montreal has outscored opponents 9-3 in its past two games. ... Weber is one point from 100 with the Canadiens. … Pacioretty is one point from 500 in the NHL. … Stastny is three points from 700 in the NHL. 

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