PREVIEW GAME #78 Canadiens @ Tampa Bay (April 1/2017)

Mar 31st, 2017 | By | Category: Hockey-General News, Latest News

Preview Game #78

Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay

Amalie Arena – April 1, 2017 – 7:10pm

Lineup Changes

….Centre Torrey Mitchell missed the morning skate because of a virus.  Mike McCarron will centre the fourth line with Andreas Martinsen and Dwight King.  Brandon Davidson will be paired with Jeff Petry again on defense with Alexei Emelin with Nathan Beaulieu.  Carey Price in goal.

….For the Lightning, RW Nikita Kucherov returns after missing Thursday’s game with the flu.  Andrei Vasilevskiy in goal.

Season Records – Canadiens 77GP (44-24-9) 97pts. Fifth in Eastern Conference – 1st Atlantic Division. Tampa Bay – 76GP (38-29-9) 85pts. Ninth in Eastern Conference

Last Ten Games – Canadiens (6-3-1) Tampa (7-3-0)

Last Time Out – Canadiens defeat Florida 6-2 Thursday. Tampa over Detroit 5-3 Thursday

Home/Road – Canadiens on the road (20-13-4) Tampa at home (21-14-3)

Head to Head

….Second of four meetings – @Bell Centre Oct. 27 – Canadiens-3 Tampa-1. Canadiens score three in the third period- Galchenyuk, Pacioretty & Mitchell (ENG). Tampa-Killorn. @Tampa Dec. 28Tampa-4 Canadiens-3 (overtime). Tyler Johnson’s second goal was game winner. Tampa comes back with 2 in third period to tie. Radulov, Weber & Chris Terry for Canadiens. Price vs. Vasilevsky.

….In their last six games vs. Tampa the Canadiens are 5-0-1. Prior to that the Lightning had won seven straight and 9 of 11 including playoffs.

….Vs. Atlantic Division opponents the Canadiens are 16-3-6.  Tampa is 16-6-3.

About the Canadiens

….The website sportsclubstats.com now lists chances of the Canadiens meeting the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs at 97% which are also the chances of the Canadiens winning the Atlantic Division.

….In 19 games under Claude Julien the Canadiens are 13-5-1.  In the 19 games prior to Julien’s arrival they were 7-10-2.

….In the month of March the Canadiens had a record of 9-3-1 after a 5-7-1 month of February.

….The Canadiens have scored four goals or more in six of their last nine games.

….The Canadiens are ranked 5th in the league in team defense allowing 2.4 goals per game.

….The Canadiens lead the league with 11 comeback wins when trailing after two periods. They have outscored opponents by 20 goals in the third period – 84 to 64.

….The Plekanec/Byron/Gallagher line was put together March 14th vs. Chicago after Plekanec returned to the lineup after missing three games with an upper body injury. In their seven games together the line has scored nine goals – (Plekanec 2g,1a – Byron 4g, 2a – Gallagher 3g 5a)

….After a five game points slump Max Pacioretty has two goals and two assists his last three games.

….Pacioretty has recorded at least 35 goals in three of his last four seasons. With five games remaining he needs four goals to equal his career high 39 set in the 2013-14 season.

….Pacioretty is the 11th in Canadiens history to have three 35-goal seasons. The leaders are Maurice Richard and Steve Shutt with seven years at 35-plus.

….Pacioretty has recorded more than 60 points in each of his last four non-lockout seasons. With 64 points, he needs three to equal his career high of 67 set two seasons ago.

….Pacioretty‘s next assist will be the 200th of his career.

….Alex Galchenyuk has one goal his last 13 games.

….Alexander Radulov has a goal and 2 assists his last two games.

….Artturi Lehkonen has 2 goals, 2 assists his last five games. Over his last nine games Lehkonen has posted 27 shots on goal.

….Mirroring the Canadiens changing fortunes Shea Weber had a plus-11 rating in March after he was minus-10 in February.

….Weber and Paul Byron share the Canadiens +/- lead at plus-20.

.Byron is second to Washington’s T.J. Oshie in league scoring percentage at 23.7%. His 22 goals have come on 93 shots-on-goal. Oshie is at 23.9%.

….Andrei Markov‘s next point will move him ahead of Guy Lapointe into second place for most points by a Canadiens defenseman.

About the Lightning

….On January 26th the Lightning were tied for last place in the Eastern Conference with a record of 22-22-5. Since then their record is 16-7-4. Boston’s win over Florida Saturday afternoon dropped Toronto down to the final Eastern Conference wild card berth. Toronto leads the Lightning by four points with six games remaining.

..Since Feb. 4, the Lightning are 16-5-3 and are tied with Calgary for the second-best point percentage in the NHL over that stretch at .729, trailing only Chicago (.800).

….This is the first of back-to-back games for the Lightning. They are at home to Dallas on Sunday.  Tampa has swept each of it’s last two back-to-back series.

….To close out their season the Lightning will play a big four-point game in Boston Tuesday, at Toronto Thursday and the Bell Centre Saturday. Their final game will be at home next Sunday against Buffalo.

….Over the 27 games since January 26th Nikita Kucherov has led the league in goals with twenty and points – 37. He now has set career highs in goals (38), assists (42) and points (80).

….Kucherov has 11 points his last five games (7g, 4a).

….Ondrej Palat has points in six consecutive games (2g, 8a) and points ten of his last 11 (3g, 11a).

….Rookie Braydon Point has 4 goals, 5 assists over his last nine games.

….With 66 points, Victor Hedman is third among NHL defensemen behind Brent Burns (73) and Erik Karlsson (68).Hedman has 15 goals and 50 assists. In 25 career games vs. Montreal Hedman has 23 points – 6 goals, 17 assists.

….Hedman leads the league in power play assists with 28 and is first in the league among defensemen in power play points with 32.

….Gabriel Dumont, former captain of the Canadiens AHL affiliates in Hamilton and St. John’s will play his first career game against his former team. Dumont was recalled from the minors on Jan. 12th. In 34 games he has 2 goals and four points.

Goaltending

….Carey Price will make his 60th start of the season. In 59 games he has a record of 29-21-3 with a 2.16GAA and .916save%.

….Price ranks fourth among the league’s starting goaltenders in GAA and 5th in Save% and wins.

….In Price‘s 16 starts since Claude Julien took over the Canadiens he has allowed 26 goals – for a 1.60GAA and .942 save%.

….Price has given up two goals or fewer in six of his last nine starts.

….In 28 career starts vs. Tampa Price is 11-11-6 with a 2.52GAA and .916 save%.

….In 45 games this season Andrei Vasilevskiy has a 20-16-7 record with a 2.68GAA and .915 save%. He has two shutouts.

….Vasilevskiy has started only two career games vs. the Canadiens.  His record is 1-1-0 with a 3.50GAA and .860 save%.    He was the winner in a 4-3 overtime decision December 28 of this season and dropped a 5-2 decision on April 9th of last season.

….Since the Ben Bishop trade on February 26th Vasilevskiy has started 13 of the 16 Tampa games with an 9-3-1 record. He has won his last three starts.

….Peter Budaj was acquired as part of the Bishop trade-deadline deal with Los Angeles. In 59 games this season with LA and the Lightning he is 29-21-3 with a 2.16GAA and .916 save%.

….In six appearances with the Lightning Budaj is 2-1-0. Three times he has relieved a Lightning starter.

Special Teams

….Power Play – Canadiens rank 11th (44/219) 20.1% Tampa Bay – ranked 4th (60/260) 23.1%.

….Penalty Killing – Canadiens rank 18th (47/243) 80.7%. Tampa Bay ranks 15th (47/246) 80.9%.

….Tampa has scored two power play goals in each of the last two games. They have scored multiple power play goals in a game 16 times and lead the NHL in PPG’s with 60.

….The Lightning have drawn 260 penalties this season. Only Philadelphia (261) has drawn more.

….Conversely the Canadiens have gone on their power play 219 times – 23rd in the league.

Canadiens Lines & Pairings

67-Max Pacioretty 24-Phillip Danault 47-Alexander Radulov

27-Alex Galchenyuk 65-Andrew Shaw 62-Artturi Lehkonen

41-Paul Byron -14-Tomas Plekanec 11-Brendan Gallagher

21-Dwight King  34-Mike McCarron  37-Andreas Martinsen

79-Andrei Markov 6-Shea Weber

88-Brandon Davidson 26-Jeff Petry

28-Nathan Beaulieu 74-Alexei Emelin

31-Carey Price

Injuries – G Al Montoya (lower body). D Jordie Benn (day-to-day); C Torrey Mitchell (ill)

Scratches – C Steve Ott; D Nikita Nesterov; C Brian Flynn;

Tampa Bay Forward Lines & Pairings

18-Ondrej Palat 21-Brayden Point 86-Nikita Kucherov

17-Alex Killorn 90-Vladislav Namestnikov 27-Jonathan Drouin

73-Adam Erne 65-Yanni Gourde 92-Joel Vermin

61-Gabriel Dumont 33-Gregg McKegg 23-J.T. Brown

77-Vicor Hedman 59-Jake Dotchin

55-Braydon Coburn 62-Andrej Sustr

6-Anton Stralman 28-Luke Witkowski

88-Andrei Vasilevskiy

Injuries – D Jason Garrison (lower body); C Tyler Johnson (knee); C Cedric Paquette (leg); RW Ryan Callahan (LTIR hip surgery); C Steven Stamkos (IR knee)

Scratches – none

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