Montreal Canadiens vs Edmonton Oilers Preview


The Montreal Canadiens (35-15-3) play host to the Edmonton Oilers (15-31-9) Thursday night at the Bell Centre. The game starts at 7:30 and can be seen on RDS, Sportsnet East and Sportsnet West.

Match Up

The is the second and final meeting between the Habs and Oilers this season, and the only game in Montreal. The Canadiens have yet to score against Edmonton this year, dropping the first game 3-0. Former Hab Benoit Pouliot scored the game winner and Ben Scrivens made 29 saves in the shutout.

What to Watch

Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Oilers /

Edmonton Oilers

Canadiens: David Desharnais extended his point streak to five games with his OT winner against the Flyers on Tuesday. He has two goals, six assists and an NHL Third Star of the Week in that span.

PK Subban played a season high 31:18 on Tuesday, he averages 25:43 per game, seventh in the league. PK’s 36 points (11 g, 25 a) are tied for eighth best among defensemen and he’s one of just 15 blueliners with 10 goals or more.

Oilers: Jordan Eberle leads Edmonton in scoring with 15 goals and 36 assists. For a team that boasts a trio of first overall picks in Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov, the Oilers have had serious issues finding the back of the net. They rank 28th in the league in scoring with just 2.20 goals per game.

What’s at Stake

The Habs are still a point behind the Lightning for first spot in the East, but with three games in hand it probably isn’t worrying them very much. The Canadiens will be looking to extend their league best three game winning streak Thursday night, and perhaps prove that they can beat the 29th best team in the league, on home ice.

The Oilers meanwhile will have their work cut out for them if they hope to let the Sabres catch them for last place in the NHL. Edmonton has a four point lead over the Sabres and Buffalo just gave away three roster players to get back Dallas’ back-up goalie, an injured Evander Kane, and Zach Bogosian.

Who’s Out

The Canadiens updated P.A. Parenteau’s injury status to say that he’s making progress in his recovery from a concussion, but he isn’t ready to return to practice yet. Parenteau is the only Hab sidelined with injury, but Manny Malhotra was a healthy scratch for the fourth straight game on Tuesday as Jacob De La Rose took over duties at center on the fourth line.

The Oilers are in tough lately with injuries to Taylor Hall (leg), Benoit Pouliot (foot), Ben Scrivens (hamstring) and Nikita Nikitin (shoulder).

What Else

The Canadiens overcame a deficit at the start of the third period for the sixth time Tuesday night to beat the Flyers 2-1 in overtime. Of the 20 times they’ve gone into the second intermission trailing, they have a 6-13-1 record. Conversely, the Oilers have had the hardest time closing out third period leads, dropping 7 of 17 games when they’ve gone into the final frame ahead of their opponents. Their 10-3-4 record gives them a .588 win percentage in these situations, far worse than the .714 that New Jersey posts, the team directly ahead of Edmonton.

The Question Mark

What is the best defensive pairing in the league right now, and where would you rank PK Subban and Andrei Markov?

As always, we’ll be going over your answers on the Montreal Hockey Talk Habs Pregame Show, starting an hour before each Canadiens game on