Tonight sees the Canadiens (2-2) stumble into Edmonton (1-1-1), after a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of Vancouver on Wednesday night. After a positive start to the season, that saw back to back wins in Toronto and Buffalo, Montreal have lost their last two matches against both the Flames and the Canucks.
Edmonton has yet to play a road game this season while Montreal still has to wait until Thursday for their home-opener against Colorado. The Oilers are coming off a heartbreaking shootout loss to Calgary on Thursday night. This was the Oilers second loss to their provincial rivals already in this early season.
Montreal will not have to play against former teammate Sheldon Souray after leaving the Calgary game with a mild concussion. Steve Staios seems to be the only other question mark for Edmonton after missing the Calgary game.
The Montreal lineup should remain unchanged from the last few games, with the only real question being if Greg Stewart finds his way back into the lineup over Matt D’Agostini. Price should get a chance to redeem himself after he was hung out to dry by his defence on Wednesday. Markov and O’Byrne are still on the long term injury list.
After playing one of their better games in almost over a year against Calgary on Tuesday, the Habs will have to get back on track and play a more cohesive game from top to bottom. With so many new faces in the lineup and the steadying hand of Andrei Markov out of the lineup, the defence will have to re-create itself for the next few months. The first line so far has shown signs of brilliance but players like Max Pacioretty and Andrei Kostitsyn will need to improve their game on an individual level in order to provide some secondary scoring. The last victory for Montreal in Edmonton came on November 22, 2003, when they beat the Oilers 4-3.
The game starts at 10:00pm ET, and can be seen on both CBC (HD) and RDS (HD) [depending on service provider].