Pregame Preview: Canadiens vs Lightning (Game #19)

Canadiens Vs Lightning

Match up:

The Canadiens (9-8-1) are home to host the Tampa Bay Lightning (12-5-0) without Steven Stamkos. The game starts at 7:30 and airs on RDS.

This is the first of four meetings between the Habs and Bolts. The Canadiens went a perfect 3 for 3 against the Lightning last season but the Blots took 2 points with a pair of shootout losses.

What to Watch:

The Lightning will need to find a way to keep up their success without their top threat. Steven Stamkos was forced out of Monday’s game with a broken tibia.

Montreal’s Kid line found renewed success Sunday against the Islanders. In just one game, Lars Eller, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher scored as many points combined as they had in the previous 8 games.

Ben Bishop has already matched his career high with 11 wins in just 13 games this season. The former Senators back up has thrived in Tampa, posting a 2.12 GAA and a .927 Save Percentage.

What’s at Stake:

The Lightning are the top team in the Atlantic division a full 5 points ahead of the Habs. With plenty of games against divisional rivals left to play, the Canadiens have their work cut out for them to keep up and that starts with the Bolts Tuesday.

Who’s Out:

Daniel Briere (concussion) may be ready to play on Tuesday, and may bump David Desharnais out of the lineup. Alexei Emelin (knee) may be close to a return as well after receiving medical clearance on Monday. Brandon Prust (upper body) is nearing his return as while while Davis Drewiske (shoulder) is longer term.

The Lightning are missing Stamkos as well as Keith Aulie (upper body) and Sami Salo (lower body), both of whom were also forced out of Monday’s loss to the Bruins. Mattias Ohlund (knee) and Tom Pyatt (collarbone) are also out.

What Else:

Laval native, Martin St. Louis, comes into Montreal with 996 career games under his belt. The 38-year old has put together an impressive career, he took home his second Art Ross trophy and his third Lady Byng last year. St. Louis also has a Stanley Cup, a Hart trophy and a Lester B. Pearson award to his credit. Tuesday night, St. Louis will play his 24th game at the Bell Centre, a building he has scored 12 goals, including 4 games winners, and added 9 assists in.

The Question Mark:

We want to hear from you, what sort of impact are you expecting from Daniel Briere when he returns to action?

Let us know what you think, leave a comment below or send us a tweet using the #MTLHockey hashtag.

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.

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About Rob Elbaz

Rob Elbaz has written 313 post in this blog.

Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show Panelist and all around good guy.

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