CANADIENS (20-11-3) at PREDATORS (16-11-6)
TV: RDS, SNE, FS-TN
NASHVILLE – The Nashville Predators will be looking for back-to-back wins for the first time in more than a month when they host the Montreal Canadiens at Bridgestone Arena on Monday.
The Predators got a 3-2 win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. It was a big win for a team that had lost 11 of 15 games prior to that and had scored two goals or fewer in 10 of those games.
"We obviously need every win we can take," Predators forward Eric Nystrom said. "To beat a divisional team in Minnesota in a big game; that was huge for us. Now we have a strong Eastern Conference team coming in here the day before a break. We need to make sure that we have a lot of energy and expend it all in the right direction and head into the break with a good taste in our mouths."
The Predators know they must be prepared to deal with a desperate team in the Canadiens, who have been struggling to find wins lately. The Canadiens are 2-7-1 in their past 10 games, which the Predators believe could make them an even more dangerous opponent.
"We know what they're going through right now," Predators captain Shea Weber said. "They're going to want to get a couple wins. I think they've got two more games before Christmas. This is our last game here. We can't decompress yet. We've got to finish the job and work hard tonight, and then we can have a break after that."
The Canadiens have lost three consecutive games and seven of their past eight. They play against the Predators on Monday and at the Wild on Tuesday.
Here are the projected lineups:
Max Pacioretty – David Desharnais – Dale Weise
Lars Eller – Alex Galchenyuk – Daniel Carr
Tomas Fleischmann – Tomas Plekanec – Paul Byron
Brian Flynn – Torrey Mitchell – Michael McCarron
Nathan Beaulieu – P.K. Subban
Andrei Markov - Alexei Emelin
Jarred Tinordi – Tom Gilbert
Scratched: Sven Andrighetto, Greg Pateryn
Injured: Carey Price (lower body), Brendan Gallagher (finger), Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body), Jeff Petry (lower body)
Filip Forsberg – Mike Ribeiro – Craig Smith
Colin Wilson – Calle Jarnkrok – James Neal
Viktor Arvidsson – Colton Sissons – Cody Hodgson
Eric Nystrom – Paul Gaustad – Miikka Salomaki
Roman Josi – Shea Weber
Mattias Ekholm – Ryan Ellis
Barret Jackman – Seth Jones
Scratched: Anthony Bitetto, Austin Watson
Injured: Mike Fisher (lower body), Gabriel Bourque (upper body)
Status report: Tokarski is expected to start for the Canadiens. … Tinordi will make his season debut in the place of Petry. … Rinne was the first goaltender off of the ice for the Predators at the morning skate and is expected to start. … Fisher participated in the morning skate once again but is not expected to play.
Who's hot: Subban is third in the NHL for assists by defensemen with 22. … Weber has three points in the past two games and has 12 points in December.