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Game Preview: Nashville Predators vs. Montreal Canadiens 1/3/23

The Nashville Predators return home tonight to take on the Montreal Canadiens. It’s another chance for them to put a solid game together and try to build on it, as the Canadiens have had a rough season. Their last regulation win was on December 6th, and they’ve only won twice since then, with their last three games a 4-1 loss to Tampa, a 7-2 loss to Florida, and a 9-2 loss to Washington.

On the one hand, the Canadiens are doubtless desperate to get the taste of those losses out of their mouths—especially the most recent one, where Capitals fans were shouting “We want ten” as the game wound down. On the other hand, they didn’t lose those games just through bad luck.

A team that’s been built around Carey Price being otherworldly has not had Price available at all this year. Jake Allen and Sam Montembeault have tried to fill in in goal, posting sv%s of .894 and .904 respectively, but it hasn’t been great. The Canadiens’ defense, both at even strength and on the power play, has struggled, and Allen and Montembeault just haven’t been able to make up the difference despite some pretty reasonable performances.

The offense has also struggled, badly, both at even strength and on the power play. Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, and Kirby Dach are the only players with more than 20 points so far this season—Suzuki has 15G/17A, Caufield an eye-popping 21G combined with 9A, and Dach 5G/18A. It’s good news for the Habs’ future that some of their young players are turning in good performances, but it’s rough news for their present that nobody else is.

Like the Preds, the Canadiens take a lot of penalties, so this might be a special-teams-happy game.

How to Watch

The game airs at 7PM Central/8PM Eastern on Bally Sports South and 102.5 The Game.

Talking Points