After beating the best team in the East on Saturday, the Canadiens (28-13-3) play host to the Central division leading Predators (30-10-4). The game is set to start at 7:30 and airs on RDS and Sportsnet East.
This is the first of two meetings between the Habs and Preds this season, and the only one in Montreal. Last year these team played a pair of tight games, with the Habs losing the first 2-1 on a late goal by Seth Jones and winning the second 4-3 in overtime thanks to a fantastic individual effort from David Desharnais.
What to Watch
Tomas Plekanec had a career night on Saturday with two goals and two assists in Montreal’s 6-4 win over the Islanders. Plekanec was playing his third straight game on a line with Max Pacioretty, who picked up a pair of assists of his own on Saturday. Pacioretty’s six-game goal streak came to an end last game, but his current seven-game point streak is still intact.
Not only has Filip Forsberg been one of the biggest stories for the Predators this season, he’s been a big story in the NHL as the current front-runner for rookie of the year. Forsberg has 39 points in 43 games and a third best +23 rating on the season.
What’s at Stake
After beating the Islanders on Saturday, the Canadiens get another chance to prove they deserve to be considered among the league’s elite by taking on the NHL’s best team in terms of points percentage. The Predators have earned 72.7% of their possible points this season to lead all teams, but the Habs are hot on their heels at 67.0%, good for fifth overall.
All signs point to a return to action for Carey Price, who wasn’t dressed for Saturday’s game. P.A. Parenteau (concussion) is expected to miss Tuesday’s game as symptoms of the concussion he suffered against the Devils earlier in the month have returned.
While Price may be ready to return on Tuesday, Preds netminder Pekka Rinne (knee) won’t be back for at least the next few weeks. Eric Nystrom (upper body) and Ryan Ellis (lower body) are also out.
This is the last game before the Habs break for the upcoming All-Star Game this weekend. When they return to action, the Canadiens will play a stretch of 21 games in 40 days from January 27 to March 7.
The Question Mark
Last game we asked which Hab needs to step up in the second half of the season, this time we want to know which Hab has most surpassed your expectations so far this season.