Game Preview by Sam Gerber, Staff Writer
Last game: SJS 5 MTL 2

The Canadiens dropped the first game of their California road trip on Tuesday night in San Jose. It was a penalty-filled affair with the Habs suffering from an inconsistent effort. The Kings are off to a great start this season and will present a tough challenge. 

For a complete recap: Canadiens – Sharks: San Jose Extends Streak vs Habs

Players to watch

  • Max Pacioretty
    Like all members of the Canadiens roster, Pacioretty has had difficulty scoring with just one goal this season. The chemistry referenced so often in the off-season with linemate Jonathan Drouin seems non existent. As the captain of this team, expect  Pacioretty to step up. providing leadership after a dismal effort by the team in San Jose.
  • Anze Kopitar
    Kopitar is off to a strong start with eight points in five games. 2016-17 was a season to forget for Kopitar and the Kings. They have turned things around this year. Playing with confidence, it will be a challenge for the Habs to shut him down.
  •  Drew Doughty
    Expect Doughty to continue his hot start against the Habs. His combination of skill and physicality will give Montreal all they can handle.
  • Charles Hudon
    Hudon has been knocking at the door each game but has yet to score his fist NHL goal. Hudon has taken a team high 24 shots on goal but has had defensive issues in his own zone. There’s no doubt that coach Julien took notice of two bad penalties taken by Hudon on Tuesday night.
  • Al Montoya
    Montoya will get his first start of the season and will in tough against the Kings. It’s important for Montoya to have a good first period and for his team to get out to an early lead.

Keys to Victory

  • Protect the crease
    The Habs have been allowing the opposition into the blue paint, bumping Price  without consequences. It will be important for the Habs to let the Kings know that the crease is a no go zone particularly with Montoya in goal.
  • First on pucks
    The Canadiens need to start winning more puck battles. Being first to the puck with help them control possession.
  • Stay out of the box
    The Canadiens have had issues with discipline and have struggled on the penalty-kill. It’s best to limit penalties against the Kings.
Matchup 
Staples Center, Los Angeles, CA. | October 18, 10:30 PM ET | TV: TSN2, RDS, NBCSN

2016-17 statistics

KINGS CANADIENS
99 (11th) Points (NHL rank) 103 (7th)
46-29-7 Record 47-26-9
26-11-4 Home 24-12-5
20-18-3 Away 23-14-4
4-6-0 Last 10 6-3-1
2.67 GF/G 2.72
2.44 GA/G 2.41
16.7 PP% 19.7
80.7 PK% 81.1
 56.20  CF%  52.54
67.58 CF/60  58.77
52.67 CA/60 53.09
Advanced statistics at 5-on-5  
Projected forward lines, defense pairings and goaltenders
Forwards
Iafallo – Kopitar – Brown
Pearson – Carter – Toffoli
Cammalleri – Kempe – Auger
Andreoff – Shore – Lewis

Pacioretty – Drouin – Lehkonen
Byron – Plekanec – Gallagher
Hudon – Danault – Shaw
Galchenyuk – Mitchell – Hemsky 
Expected scratches: De La Rose
Defensemen
Forbort – Doughty
Martinez – Muzzin
Fantenberg – Folin
Mete – Weber
Alzner – Petry
Morrow – Davidson
Expected scratches: Benn, Schlemko
Goalies
Jonathan Quick (Confirmed) Al Montoya  (Confirmed)
2016-’17 regular season:
Record: 8-5-2
GAA: 2.26
Sv%: .917
SO: 2
Alternate: Darcy Kuemper
2016-’17 regular season:
Record: 8-6-4
GAA: 2.67
Sv%: .912
SO: 2
Alternate: Carey Price
 What to Expect
The Habs will need to use their speed tonight against the Kings, and play with high energy. I don’t have high hopes for this game since it is a tough match-up after a tough loss in San Jose.

Prediction

For the Habs to come away with the victory, they will to slow down the Kings and have a couple bounces go their way.

Highlights from the NHL
Quick Links from Rocket Sports Media publications
 
 
Habs360-sm-06
 
Tickets
   
   
Get Habs Tickets  
  • Need tickets for an upcoming Canadiens game? Click the following link for the best prices on available tickets: Montreal Canadiens Tickets
download

Follow @AllHabs on Twitter