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Lightning at Canadiens preview

Drouin eyes point in sixth straight to open Montreal season; Tampa Bay 1-2-1 in past four

by Sean Farrell / Independent Correspondent

LIGHTNING (2-2-1) at CANADIENS (2-1-2)



The Game

Jonathan Drouin can put together the longest season-opening point streak by a Montreal Canadiens player since 2008-09 when they play the Tampa Bay Lightning at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

The forward has six points (two goals, four assists) during his five-game point streak. Should he get a point against his former team, it would be the longest streak by a Canadiens player to begin a season since defenseman Andrei Markov had 10 assists during a seven-game point streak from Oct. 10-25, 2008.

Montreal will look for its third win in five games (2-1-1) following a 6-3 victory against the defending Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

The Lightning are 1-2-1 through the first four games of a six-game road trip. Goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy will start; the reigning Vezina Trophy winner as the top goalie in the NHL is 2-1-0 with a 3.04 goals-against average and .903 save percentage in three starts this season but is 7-1-2 with a 2.16 GAA and .929 save percentage in 10 games against the Canadiens.


Players to watch

Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past two games and 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in 23 games against Montreal.

Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher had a goal and two assists against the Blues on Saturday.


They said it

"We're going to have to compete really hard. Montreal is a team that competes really hard and we're going to have to match it." -- Lightning forward Steven Stamkos

"We were in all our games against them last season but we just missed that goal or scoring chance at the end. They're a talented team but we don't want to give them too many power plays or let them get too much rhythm. It's going to be a battle for 60 minutes." -- Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin


Lightning projected lineup

Steven Stamkos -- Brayden Point -- Nikita Kucherov

Ondrej Palat -- Anthony Cirelli -- Alex Killorn

Mathieu Joseph -- Tyler Johnson -- Yanni Gourde

Pat Maroon -- Carter Verhaeghe -- Luke Witkowski

Victor Hedman -- Erik Cernak

Ryan McDonagh -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Braydon Coburn -- Mikhail Sergachev

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Jan Rutta

Injured: Cedric Paquette (upper body)


Canadiens projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Artturi Lehkonen -- Max Domi -- Jordan Weal

Jonathan Drouin -- Jesperi Kotkaniemi -- Joel Armia

Paul Byron -- Nate Thompson - Nick Suzuki

Victor Mete -- Shea Weber

Brett Kulak -- Jeff Petry

Ben Chiarot -- Christian Folin

Carey Price

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Mike Reilly, Cale Fleury

Injured: Nick Cousins (back)


Status report

Paquette did not take part in the morning skate. … Montreal made no changes to its lineup.


Stat pack

Stamkos has six points (three goals, three assists) in four games. … Hedman has 29 points (six goals, 23 assists) in 33 games against the Canadiens. … Domi has five points (three goals, two assists) in his past four games. … The Canadiens have allowed six power-play goals in 17 opportunities; their 64.7 penalty killing success rate is 28th in the NHL.

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