Preview: Montreal at Chicago – October 30th,
The Montreal Canadiens (6-6-0) will seek to end
their losing ways after having their 4-game winning streak snapped by the
Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night. They face the Chicago Blackhawks
(7-4-1) who presently sit atop the Central division, having lost Thursday
against the Nashville Predators. The two teams met only once last
year, with the Canadiens winning by a score of 4-1 on home ice. Carey
Price made 28 saves while former Hab Cristobal Huet stopped 29 of 33 shots.
No word who will get the start in Chicago’s net, as Huet (4-3-2, 2.32 GAA, .897
SV%) played Thursday night and Antti Niemi (3-1-1, 2.07 GAA, .909 SV%) hasn’t
played since October 21st. Price (2-4, 3.50 GAA, .884 SV%) will reportedly
get the start for the first time since October 17th, although he and Jaroslav
Halak (4-2, 2.70 GAA, .898 SV%) split duties in Wednesday’s loss.
Both teams will be playing without key
personnel. Chicago is still missing Marian Hossa (shoulder) and captain
Jonathan Toews (concussion), while Montreal is without Andrei Markov (ankle) and
Ryan O’Byrne (knee). Based on Thursday’s practice, there will be some
tweaks in the forward lineup. Andrei Kostitsyn will be on the first line with
Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta while Mike Cammalleri will play with Tomas Plekanec
and Maxim Lapierre.
Both Montreal and Chicago feature mid-pack powerplay prowess,
and have an identical 17.4% success rate.
Chicago struggles with the man advantage at home (10.3%) while Montreal actually fares slightly better on the road (21%). Cam Barker and
Dustin Byfuglien lead the way with 2 powerplay goals each whereas Marc-André
Bergeron leads the Habs with 2 goals with the man advantage. There is a
significant difference with the penalty killing units, as Chicago employs the
4th best PK rate (85.2%) and Montreal falls in at 23rd best, killing only 75.5%
of their penalties. Cammalleri leads all Canadiens with 12 points (5G, 7A)
in 12 games while Patrick Kane (4G, 6A) and Patrick Sharp (5G, 5A) both have 10
points through 12 games.
The puck drops at 8:30 EST and the game can be seen on RDS and
This preview was written by Matt