Game Preview by Sam Gerber, Staff Writer
Last game: MTL 2  EDM  6  

The Canadiens came out flat against the Oilers and Carey Price did not look ready to play. After being down early by four goals, the Habs had little fight left.

For a complete recap: Oilers – Canadiens: Habs Have No Answer for Oilers Speed

Players to watch

  • Nico Hischier
    Hischier went first overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. His playmaking ability is his biggest threat. The Habs will need to have an eye on him and get sticks in the passing lanes.
  • Jesper Bratt
    Bratt was a sixth round pick in 2016. Playing on the first line, Bratt and Hischier have been very productive.
  • Sami Vatanen
    Vatanen has only had a handful games with his new team but will settle in soon. Vatanen gives the Devils a mobile two-way defender that they so desperately needed.

Keys to Victory

  • Be strong on the puck
    The Devils attack in waves, and are strong on the forecheck. The Habs will need to make strong plays on the puck while under pressure.
  • Attack down the middle
    The Devils are a little weaker down the middle after giving up Adam Henrique to get Sami Vatanen. The Canadiens are not strong at centre themselves but can take advantage of New Jersey for a shot at the win.
  • Take advantage of a fresh start
    After the four day break in the schedule, the Canadiens have the opportunity for a fresh start. Given the time to recharge, they should come out with more energy.
Matchup by All Habs staff
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC | December 14, 7:30 PM ET | TV: TSN2, RDS, MSG+2

2017-18 statistics

38 (10th) Points (rank) 30 (25th)
17-9-4 Record 13-14-4
7-5-2 Away/Home 8-7-3
5-4-1 Last 10 5-3-2
3.06 GF/G 2.70
3.00 GA/G 3.16
20.43 PP% 17.82
82.72 PK% 77.66
 47.12  CF%  51.39
Projected forward lines, defense pairings and goaltenders
Bratt – Hischier – Stafford
Coleman – Zajac – Gibbons
Wood – Zacha – Noesen
Hayes – Boyle – Lappin
Pacioretty – Danault – Byron
Galchenyuk – Drouin – Shaw
Hudon – Plekanec – Gallagher 
Deslauriers – Froese – Carr
Moore – Vatanen
Greene – Santini
Butcher – Severson
Benn – Weber
Alzner – Petry
Morrow – Schlemko
Out of the lineup
Scratched: Prout, Lovejoy
Injured: Mueller, Johansson, Hall, Palmieri
Scratched: De La Rose, Jerabek
Injured: Hemsky, Montoya, Lehkonen
Cory Schneider Carey Price
Record: 12-6-3
GAA: 2.63
Sv%: .920
SO: 1
Alternate: Keith Kincaid
Record: 8-9-2
GAA: 3.16
Sv%: .899
SO: 1
Alternate: Antti Niemi
 What to Expect
The Devils are off to a great season thanks to their depth team. They do not have a many weaknesses and have the perfect combination of speed skill and grit. 

Prediction: Canadiens 3  Devils 4 

A goalie battle between Price and Schneider is to be expected.

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