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Jake Muzzin

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montreal canadiens vs los angeles kings

Match Up

The Canadiens (18-10-2) are home host to the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings (15-9-5) Friday night at the Bell Centre. The match is set to start at 7:30 and airs on RDS and Sportsnet East.

This is the first of two games between the Habs and Kings this year, and the only one in Montreal. The Kings took both games last season, a 2-1 win in L.A. and a 6-0 victory in Montreal. PK Subban scored the only Canadiens goal against the Kings last year, while L.A. defenseman Jake Muzzin had goals in both games.

What to Watch

Alex Galchenyuk played his first full game of the year at center on Tuesday, and while he didn’t record any points, his line opened the scoring when Brendan Gallagher beat Ryan Miller with a hard wrist shot. Sven Andrighetto picked up his second NHL point in his second NHL game, an assist on Tomas Plekanec’s ninth goal of the year.

That 70’s Line is the trio to watch for the Kings. The line of Jeff CarterTyler Toffoli, and Tanner Pearson has combined for 28 goals in 29 games this season, making them one of the most productive in the league. Jonathan Quick started for the Kings in Ottawa on Thursday, so look for Martin Jones to get the call on Friday.

What’s at Stake

After a tough stretch the Canadiens are down to third in the Atlantic Division behind the Lightning and Red Wings. A win on Friday would help the Canadiens turn a much needed corner and put them back on track in the race for the division title.

Who’s Out

Lars Eller (upper body) could miss much of this Canadiens homestand but should be ready to return around the time it is wrapping up. Mike Weaver (concussion) is out indefinitely, while Bryan Allen and PK Subban are battling an illness and may be forced to miss Friday’s game.

The Kings are only missing Slava Voynov, who has been suspended indefinitely as a result of his arrest related to domestic abuse.

What Else

Home ice has been good to the Canadiens so far this season. In 14 games the team boasts a 10-3-1 record at Bell Centre, taking 21 of a possible 28 points. The team has scored 44 goals on home ice this year, an average of 3.14 goals per game. That’s a big difference from the 1.81 goals a game they are averaging on the road.

The Question Mark

Is Alex Galchenyuk ready for the pressure of playing top-line minutes?

Tonight’s Show

Join Steve Hindle along with Corey Collard and Kosta Papoulias as they bring you the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show live at 6:30 on Friday to preview the Canadiens and the Kings.

PostGameFeatured

MHT Post-Game: Habs vs. Kings – March 3rd, 2014

Download

Despite what seemed to be a game that had good tempo and flow, the Montreal Canadiens just couldn’t match the Los Angeles Kings size and skill, losing to them 2-1 in the first of four games of a Western swing. Join Corey Collard, along with Rob Elbaz, Matt Casavant and Coach K as they break down the action, and delve into Wednesday’s NHL trade deadline.

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