The Montreal Canadiens look to win consecutive games for the first time since Christmas, as they face the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. It is the Montreal Canadiens vs Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Not many regular season games draw the amount of hype that these two old rivals do.
The Canadiens have alternated a win with a loss since their New Year’s Eve debacle against the Carolina Hurricanes. They were able to pull out an overtime victory against the Ottawa Senators in their last game, riding on the back of Carey Price to grab two very undeserved points in the standings.
The Canadiens blew a 3-0 first period lead to the Senators on Thursday night, falling behind 4-3 before the end of the second. Price made several phenomenal saves along the way, holding the Habs in the game. Tomas Plekanec tied it up in the third period before P.K. Subban slid a snap shot between the pads of Craig Anderson to end the game in extra time.
That win improved their road record to 13-8-2 this season.
The Maple Leafs enter tonight’s game on a three game winning streak. They took out New Jersey and Buffalo in shootouts and defeated the Atlantic Division leading Boston Bruins this week as well. They are 16-10-1 as the host team this year.
Toronto has been led all season by the line of Phil Kessel, James van Riemsdyk and (when healthy) Tyler Bozak. The Canadiens will have their hands full trying to shut down that high flying trio. Surely Tomas Plekanec will be going head to head with Kessel as much as possible, and no doubt Subban and Josh Gorges will be facing them often as well.
The Leafs are currently holding on to the first wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference, six points behind the third place Montreal Canadiens. Toronto defeated Montreal on opening night this season, and Montreal returned the favor on the last day of November with a 4-2 victory. If the Habs continue their trends of one loss followed by one win, you can bet on the Leafs getting two points tonight.
Hopefully they buck that trend and put some separation between themselves and the Leafs in the Atlantic standings.