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Preview: Maple Leafs at Canadiens

Carey Price in goal for Montreal; Toronto scoring despite Auston Matthews' slump

by Sean Farrell / Correspondent

MAPLE LEAFS (8-6-3) at CANADIENS (13-3-2)

7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports, NHLN, NHL.TV


Maple Leafs team scope

Center Auston Matthews is one of the few members of the Toronto Maple Leafs struggling to generate offense recently. Toronto has scored six goals four times in its past six games, including a 6-1 home win against the Florida Panthers on Thursday. Fresh from the first four-point game of his NHL career Thursday, forward Connor Brown will play on Matthews' line. "He's been playing great for us all year and he's getting rewarded for it, so it's awesome to see," Matthews said. "We're roommates on the road and hang out quite a bit and he's an unbelievable guy, so it's awesome." After scoring six goals in his first six games, Matthews has no points in his past three games, and no goals and two assists in 11 games since Oct. 25. "It's obviously very frustrating. It's hard not to think about it sometimes but I've just got to go out there and play," he said. "We're still creating chances, still out there playing. I feel like every game there are other things that kind of go unseen that I think I'm improving on, so I've just got to keep going at it, got to keep having fun. The chances are going to continue to come and one of these nights, hopefully tonight, they're going to start going in."


Canadiens team scope

Goalie Carey Price will start for the Montreal Canadiens, and forward Alexander Radulov may be ready to return as well. Radulov has missed back-to-back games with a virus and did not make the trip for Montreal's 3-2 loss at the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. The Canadiens did not have a morning skate, but a team official said Radulov skated for a second straight day on Saturday. Montreal is 0-2-1 since winning 13 of its first 15 games. "We played a really good road game," coach Michel Therrien said after the loss. "When you're on the road and you give up 18 shots and you've got over 30, usually you win those types of hockey games. The effort was there. You need puck luck, and we don't have puck luck lately."


Maple Leafs projected lineup

Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri -- William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- Connor Brown

Matt Martin -- Ben Smith -- Nikita Soshnikov

Morgan Rielly -- Nikita Zaitsev

Matt Hunwick -- Roman Polak

Jake Gardiner -- Connor Carrick

Frederik Andersen

Jhonas Enroth

Scratched: Martin Marincin, Frank Corrado, Peter Holland

Injured: None


Canadiens projected lineup

Paul Byron -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Alexander Radulov

Max Pacioretty -- David Desharnais -- Andrew Shaw

Charles Hudon -- Tomas Plekanec -- Brendan Gallagher

Phillip Danault -- Torrey Mitchell -- Daniel Carr

Alexei Emelin -- Shea Weber

Andrei Markov -- Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu -- Joel Hanley

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Chris Terry, Greg Pateryn

Injured: Brian Flynn (upper body), Artturi Lehkonen (upper body), Zach Redmond (foot)


Status report

Brown and Nylander flipped lines from Thursday. ... The Canadiens assigned forward Sven Andrighetto to St. John's of the AHL on Saturday.


Who's hot

Van Riemsdyk has six points (four goals, two assists) in his past two games. Brown has five points in his past two games, including two goals and two assists Thursday, first multiple-goal game in the NHL. Marner has two goals and two assists in two games, and 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his past seven. Komarov has three goals and one assist in four games. ... Markov has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) during a seven-game streak. ... Price is 11-0-1 with a 1.63 goals-against-average and .948 save percentage, although his two-season, 13-game winning streak ended Tuesday with a 4-3 overtime loss to Florida.

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