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Preview: Calgary Flames @ Montreal Canadiens 12/7/17 (29/82): Time To Stop The Bleeding

It won’t be an easy trip to Montreal as the Flames will face another stone wall in Carey Price.

NHL: Calgary Flames at Montreal Canadiens Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames @ Montreal Canadiens, 5:30 PM MT, Bell Centre, Montreal PQ

Where To Watch & Listen

BroadcastSchedule
BroadcastSchedule
TV: SNW
Radio: Sportsnet 960

The Flames limp into Montreal, loser of 6 of their last 8. The most recent defeat, a 2-1 SO loss to the Maple Leafs on Tuesday night comes with some positives. The Flames actually started to play solid defence and it wasn’t just one pairing. All 3 Flames D pairings were solid and Calgary lost a game to a hot goaltender in Frederik Andersen. If the team that showed up in Toronto arrives in Montreal, the Canadiens will have their hands full with a fiesty Flames team. Calgary got some unexpected jump from their third line of Mark Jankowski, Sam Benentt and Garent Hathaway. Hathaway was a late insert due to Jaromir Jagr being out with a lower body injury. That line created a bunch of chances, including one with under 3 seconds left in the third period against Toronto.

No matter what team shows up in Montreal it won’t be an easy task as the Flames will be running into one of the hottest teams in the NHL. The Canadiens have won 5 of their last 6, all with Carey Price in net. Since a brutal 5 game losing streak was broken, Montreal has been playing in much closer games, with all games being within 3 goals, with the exception of a 10-1 route of the Detroit Red Wings. Like most teams with a hot goaltender, they go as their keeper goes and that is the case with Price. He’s surrendered only 10 goals during this 5 game run.

The Flames and Canadiens look comparable on paper. They are each within a point of one another and their special teams are fairly close as well. Even their records are almost even with Calgary going 4-6-0 in their last 10 visits to Montreal. The Flames need this win as they will head home after this for a huge showdown on Saturday night with the Canucks and it would also quiet some of the “fire” and “trade” talk being bantered about in the Stampede City.

Tale Of The Tape

Calgary Flames Stats Montreal Canadiens
Calgary Flames Stats Montreal Canadiens
14-12-2 Record 13-13-3
30 Points 29
5th Pacific Division 3rd Atlantic
9th West Conference 9th East
2-2-1 Last 5 4-1-0
79 Goals For 80
89 Goals Against 89
Monahan (15) Goals Gallagher (13)
Gaudreau (36) Points Gallagher (19)
Hamonic (38) PIM Shaw (32)
Smith (.916) Save% Lindgren (.924)
21.0 (13th) PP% 17.5 (20th)
76.3 (27th) PK% 77.8 (23rd)
1-1-0 2016-17 VS 1-1-0
44-65-15 Overall VS 65-44-15

Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)

Player Record GAA Save%
Player Record GAA Save%
Flames: Rittich (E) 1-1-0 3.04 .875
Canadiens: Price (E) 8-8-1 3.00 .903

What’s Happening With The Opposition?

Last Time Out

Calgary Flames 1 Toronto Maple Leafs 2 (SO)

The Flames rolled into Toronto and owned this game from start to finish, but lost 2-1 in a shoot out. Mike Smith held his own at the other end of the rink stopping 28 of the 29 shots that came his way. Here’s our recap and highlights from NHL.com

Montreal Canadiens 3 St. Louis Blues 4

Montreal last took to the ice on Tuesday and had a 5 game winning streak snapped by the St. Louis Blues 4-3. This was the first time in 5 games the Canadiens surrendered more than 3 goals in a game. Habs Eyes On The Prize has the recap and NHL.com provides the highlights.

Players To Watch

Calgary Flames

NHL: Calgary Flames at Edmonton Oilers Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

Garnet Hathaway (F). Hathaway has barely any NHL time this season, but he’s starting to look comfortable with Calgary. He was moved up to the 3rd line in place on an injured Jaromir Jagr and thrived with his old AHL partner Mark Jankowski. Hathaway had 1 SOG and 1 blocked shot, but was in position for a potential game winner with under 3 seconds left. He adds a physical presence to a line that already has some beef and some offence to boot.

Montreal Canadiens

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Carey Price (G). Price has been the reason the Canadiens are in the position they have been in lately. The star goaltender has only 1 loss in his last 6 games and has only surrendered more than 1 goal twice and has a shut out during that streak. Price is 3-2-0 in his last 5 starts against the Flames.