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Maple Leafs at Canadiens preview

Montreal looks for 15th straight win against Toronto

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

MAPLE LEAFS (3-1-0) at CANADIENS (1-3-0)

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

 

The Game

The Montreal Canadiens will look for their 15th straight win against the Toronto Maple Leafs when they play at Bell Centre on Saturday. Toronto is 0-9-5 against Montreal since a 5-3 win at Air Canada Centre on Jan. 18, 2014.

Carey Price, who likely will start for Montreal, is 11-0-0 with a 1.88 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage in his past 11 games against Toronto.

The Canadiens are 1-3-0 to start a season for the first time since 2000-01. Montreal is 0-for-14 on the power play and has scored four goals in four games, prompting coach Claude Julien to move 19-year-old rookie defenseman Victor Mete onto the first power-play unit.

Defenseman Connor Carrick will return for the Maple Leafs, who have scored 22 goals in four games, after missing two games with an upper-body injury.

 

Players to watch

Defenseman Shea Weber leads Montreal with 15 hits, seven blocked shots and an average of 26:06 of icetime per game.

Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews has six points (three goals, three assists) during a four-game point streak. He has three points (one goal, two assists) in four games against Montreal.

 

They said it

"He's big and strong, he moves the puck really well, he's got a good stick and he's in great position all the time. He's obviously one of the best (defensemen) in the game so it's always a challenge when you go up against him." -- Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews about playing against Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber

"You guys are making a way bigger deal out of this than me. I know we're playing the Habs tonight, they need two (points) and we need two, that's it for me. I'm serious. It's something for you guys to talk about and you guys need to be busy, so I like it." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on Toronto's losing streak against Montreal

 

Maple Leafs projected lineup

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- William Nylander

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Patrick Marleau -- Nazem Kadri -- Leo Komarov

Matt Martin -- Eric Fehr -- Connor Brown

Morgan Rielly -- Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner -- Nikita Zaitsev

Andreas Borgman -- Connor Carrick

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Dominic Moore, Josh Leivo, Calle Rosen

Injured: None

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Jonathan Drouin -- Artturi Lehkonen

Paul Byron -- Tomas Plekanec -- Brendan Gallagher

Charles Hudon -- Phillip Danault -- Andrew Shaw

Alex Galchenyuk -- Torrey Mitchell -- Ales Hemsky

Victor Mete -- Shea Weber

Karl Alzner -- Jeff Petry

Jordie Benn -- Brandon Davidson

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: David Schlemko, Joe Morrow, Jacob De La Rose

Injured: None

 

Status report

Schlemko, who was recalled from Laval of the American Hockey League on Friday, took part in the morning skate but Julien said he is not ready to make his season debut. ... Plekanec did not skate because of the flu and will be a game-time decision. De La Rose practiced in his spot and will draw into the lineup if he Plekanec is unable to play. ... Fehr will start and Moore will be a healthy scratch with Babcock continuing his rotation of alternating the veteran centers on the fourth line.

 

Stat pack

Gallagher (one goal, one assist) is the only Canadiens player with more than one point. ... Matthews is one of eight Maple Leafs players with at least four points. Van Riemsdyk (three goals, two assists) and Zaitsev (two goals, three assists) each have five points, and five players have four points: Kadri (two goals, two assists), Marleau (two goals, two assists), Nylander (one goal, three assists), Bozak (one goal, three assists), and Marner (one goal, three assists).

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