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Devils at Canadiens preview

Montreal goes for fourth straight victory; New Jersey has won two of past three

by Sean Farrell / Independent Correspondent

DEVILS (6-8-4) at CANADIENS (11-5-3)



The Game

The Montreal Canadiens will try for their fourth straight win when they face the New Jersey Devils at Bell Centre on Saturday in the second of back-to-back games for each team.

Montreal, which is 7-1-1 in its past nine games following a 5-2 win at the Washington Capitals on Friday, will be without forward Jonathan Drouin, who was placed on injured reserve Saturday after sustaining an upper-body injury against Washington.

New Jersey defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Friday and has won two of its past three games.


Players to watch

Devils forward Nico Hischier has four goals in six games against Montreal.

Canadiens forward Tomas Tatar has six points (two goals, four assists) during a three-game point streak, including his first four-point game (one goal, three assists) in the NHL on Friday. He has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past nine games.


They said it

"It'll be fun. Obviously, he's a good friend and a good player, but it'll feel good to put one past him [Saturday]." -- Devils forward Blake Coleman about facing Canadiens goalie and former New Jersey teammate Keith Kinkaid

"I'm just trying to go out there every day and prove that I can play the center position, focus on the defensive side first and then let my offense do the rest." -- Canadiens rookie forward Nick Suzuki


Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Jack Hughes -- Kyle Palmieri

John Hayden -- Nico Hischier -- Jesper Bratt

Blake Coleman -- Travis Zajac -- Nikita Gusev

Miles Wood -- Pavel Zacha -- Wayne Simmonds

Andy Greene -- Damon Severson

Will Butcher -- P.K. Subban

Mirco Mueller -- Matt Tennyson

Mackenzie Blackwood

Cory Schneider

Scratched: John Hayden, Colton White, Jesper Boqvist

Injured: Sami Vatanen (upper body), Connor Carrick (finger), Kevin Rooney (upper body)


Canadiens projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Jesperi Kotkaniemi -- Max Domi -- Joel Armia

Charles Hudon -- Nick Suzuki -- Artturi Lehkonen

Nick Cousins -- Nate Thompson -- Jordan Weal

Ben Chiarot -- Shea Weber

Victor Mete -- Jeff Petry

Brett Kulak -- Cale Fleury

Keith Kinkaid

Carey Price

Scratched: Mike Reilly, Christian Folin

Injured: Jonathan Drouin (upper body), Paul Byron (lower body)


Status report

Neither team held a morning skate. ... Hudon was recalled from Laval of the American Hockey League on Saturday and will replace Drouin. ... Kotkaniemi returns after missing seven games with a groin injury.


Stat pack

The Devils are 1-2-1 in the second of back-to-back games this season; the Canadiens are 1-2-0. … Hall has 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 14 games against Montreal. ... Weber has seven points (four goals, three assists) during a five-game point streak.

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