The Canadiens head into New Jersey on Friday night looking to get a victory without Carey Price who is sidelined again with a lower body injury.
The Montreal Canadiens were dealt another blow this week just two games after Carey Price made his return to action after being out for two weeks as he suffered a similar injury and will be out for another week. Mike Condon has played well in relief but losing the best goalie in the league and the reigning Hart Trophy winner is a frustrating and detrimental loss and going up against a surprising Devils team might make for a tough outing. Condon will go up against Cory Schneider who continues to be a work horse for the Devils.
The Devils head into Friday night’s match up with Montreal sitting in fifth place in the Metro division but they are only three points back of the Penguins for the third automatic entry into the playoffs and have plenty of hockey left to be played. New Jersey has a decent roster in the offensive zone led by a handful of role playing veterans but the key to their success has been the play of Schneider who in my opinion is one of the best five goaltenders in the NHL. New Jersey is in a good place here as they are at home against a short handed Habs team and goaltending makes the difference here.
Cammalleri – Henrique – Stempniak
Kalinin – Zajac – Palmieri
Elias – Josefson – Tootoo
Farnham – Gionta – Kennedy/Matteau
Greene – Larsson
Moore – Severson
Gelinas – Merrill
Pacioretty – Plekanec – Smith-Pelly
Eller – Galchenyuk – Andrighetto
Fleischmann – Desharnais – Weise
Byron – Flynn – Holloway
Markov – Subban
Emelin – Petry
Gilbert – Beaulieu
WHAT TO WATCH
1) After a ridiculously hot start to the season Mike Condon has really cooled off of late having allowed three goals or more in four consecutive starts. He’s not on his game right now so the Devils need to put as much rubber on net as they can.
2) Montreal’s power play is generally very good and that’s the case once again this season as they’re clicking at a 24.4% rate. The Devils can’t afford to parade to the box like they have been of late or they’ll pay for it.
3) The Cammalleri – Henrique – Stempniak line has been New Jersey’s best all season long. It’ll be fun to see how they stack up against the Markov – Subban pairing as they’ll presumably see a lot of them.