NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, October 9th
(All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (1-1-0) at Calgary Flames (1-0-2), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Canadiens embark on their first road trip
of the season as they head out west to battle the Calgary Flames on Wednesday
The Canadiens played two in a row at home to open the campaign, losing to
Toronto last Tuesday before notching a 4-1 win over Philadelphia on Saturday.
Montreal's line of Alex Galchenyuk, Lars Eller and Brendan Gallagher led the
way with a combined six points, while Carey Price made 22 saves.
Eller and Gallagher both had a goal and an assist, while Galchenyuk notched a
pair of helpers. Eller has three goals and two assists through the first two
"It's a matter of more experience and learning to handle yourself out there,"
Eller admitted. "A lot of things coming together, but puck pursuit is big,
even when we don't have the puck. (It's) about giving them less time to make a
pass, and forcing them to make bad ones."
Montreal is set to visit Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Winnipeg on this
swing and will look to build some chemistry both on and off the ice over the
"It's a great opportunity for us to spend some time together, get to know each
other a little more personally off the ice and build those relationships and
bonds. It's something that translates onto the ice," said defenseman Josh
Forward Max Pacioretty is expected to be part of the on-ice bonding as he is
likely to return to the lineup after missing Saturday's game with a wrist
Fellow forward Rene Bourque could also have some extra jump tonight as he
faces his former Flames team for the second time since getting dealt to the
Canadiens on Jan. 12 of last year in a deal that sent Mike Cammalleri to
Tonight's game will also mark the 500th of his career, one that began with the
Chicago Blackhawks before a trade to the Flames. The 31-year-old has amassed
134 goals and 128 points in his career.
"I think as you get older and you get more experienced, you tend to change
things and adapt to the speed of the game. Hockey in the east is a little
different from the west. I think it's a little bit more wide open," noted
The Flames play the middle contest of a three-game homestand tonight and have
earned four of a possible six points through three games, sandwiching a pair
of post-regulation losses around a win over Columbus last Friday.
Calgary fell 5-4 in overtime to Vancouver on Sunday but was lucky to get a
point. The Flames led by two goals in the third period before the Canucks
scored three straight. Calgary's David Jones was able to send the game into
overtime on a goal with 19 seconds left in regulation, however.
Joey MacDonald made 23 saves, but was beaten by Mike Santorelli 3:17 into
"We didn't make good enough decisions I thought," said captain Mark Giordano,
who had a goal. "It cost us. We can't let teams grab the momentum like that,
especially in our home rink."
Sean Monahan, the sixth overall pick of the most recent draft, scored his
second goal and third point in this third NHL game, though did struggle at
times on the defensive end.
"His offensive upside is there," Flames head coach Bob Hartley said. "That's
undeniable. Like any kid of 18 years old, he got spun on one of their goals
and lost his man; those are the lessons you need to learn from. What he offers
and what he brings is pretty special for an 18-year-old kid."
The Flames and Habs did not meet last season after Calgary took both
encounters during the 2011-12 campaign. The Flames have won three straight and
six of the past seven meetings overall and are looking to avoid their first
home loss to Montreal since Jan. 5, 2002.
Calgary is 6-0 with a tie at home versus Montreal since.
10/09 10:43:28 ET