montreal canadiens vs nashville predatorsMatch Up:

The Canadiens (21-13-3) are in Nashville to take on the Predators (16-16-3) Saturday night, their last game before the team gets a week break over the Christmas holiday. The match is set to start at 7:00 and airs on RDS and CBC.

This is the second and final meeting between the Habs and Preds this season. Rookie defenseman Seth Jones scored the game winning goal for the Predators with less than 90 seconds remaining in regulation putting the Predators ahead 2-1. David Legwand had a pair of assists for Nashville.

What to Watch:

Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais have been the Habs’ most consistent offensive producers during their recent offensive drought. Since being shutout by the Kings, the Habs have scored just 7 goals in their last 5 games. Pacioretty and Desharnais each have 4 points in that span with Patches picking up 3 goals.

As much as the Habs have struggled offensively, the Predators aren’t faring much better. The Preds are 26th in scoring with just 80 goals scored in 35 games. Legwand, the team’s top scorer, has 6 goals and 25 points on the year, including 5 points in the last 5 games.

What’s at Stake:

The Lightning have caught back up to the Canadiens to take over third sport in the Eastern conference. The Habs and Lightning are both at 45 points on the season but the Bolts have two games in hand on Montreal. With a win in Nashville the Canadiens have a chance to effectively end the first half of the season on a high note after a disappointing stretch.

Who’s Out:

The Habs are missing George Parros (concussion) and Davis Drewiske (shoulder).

The Predators are only dealing with one injury but, it’s a doozy. Pekka Rinne (hip infection) has been out of action since late October and there is no set timeline for his return.

What Else:

Last season, scoring first was a major strength for the Habs, they struck first in 29 of 48 games last year. This season, Canadiens have opened the scoring in 19 of 37 games, slightly better than 50 percent. But December has been a different story altogether, in 10 games this month the Habs have only managed to score first in 3, and only once in their last 6, an overtime winner in their 1-0 victory of the Islanders.

The Question Mark:

Christmas is just around the corner and we want to know, what gift would you get the Habs this year and have they been naughty or nice in your books?

Let us know what you think by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter or leave us a comment below.

Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.