There's an opportunity for a winning streak to begin tonight, folks.
The Blue Jackets had lost three in a row before Thursday night's win over the New York Rangers, and they're looking to make it two in a row tonight as they head to Montreal to take on the Canadiens.
Here, you'll get everything you need to know – including keys to the game, where to watch and listen, and more – before the Blue Jackets take on the struggling Canadiens at the Bell Centre.
Where to watch, listen and stream tonight's game...
WHO: Blue Jackets (19-21-1) vs. Canadiens (8-27-7)
WHERE: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
WHEN: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Columbus (Jeff Rimer, Jody Shelley)
RADIO: 97.1 FM (Bob McElligott, Dylan Tyrer)
STREAM: ESPN+ (out of market only)
The Blue Jackets have had their fair share of struggles recently, but they're nothing compared to what the Canadiens have endured this season. At 8-27-7, the Canadiens are dead last in the NHL with 23 points. The Arizona Coyotes have 24.
It's been a quick fall from grace for the Canadiens, who made a surprising run to the Stanley Cup Finals a year ago. Their current injuries include the likes of:
- G Carey Price (rehab from knee surgery)
- C Jonathan Drouin (right wrist)
- D David Savard (right ankle)
- RW Brendan Gallagher (lower body)
- G Jake Allen (lower body)
- D Joel Edmunson (back)
- LW Mathieu Perreault (lower body)
- C Christian Dvorak (lower body)
- D Shea Weber (foot)
Weber has likely played his last NHL game because of his injury, but the rest of that list is full of everyday players for the Canadiens when they're healthy. They've had a hard time overcoming those injuries, especially in the net. Sam Montembeault and Cayden Primeau have shared duties, and neither has been particularly impressive. Montembeault currently owns a 2-8-4 record with a .895 save percentage and 3.95 GAA, while Primeau is 1-4-1 with a .879 save percentage and 4.51 GAA.
ALL-TIME: It's been pretty even between the Blue Jackets and Canadiens during their time in the NHL together. The Blue Jackets own a slim 16-15-1 advantage, and they're 3-0-1 in their last four games against Montreal. Columbus has a chance to make it three wins in a row over the Canadiens tonight after triumphs on 2/2/20 (4-3) and 11/19/19 (5-2).
KEYS TO THE GAME
What do the Blue Jackets need to do to win tonight? We're glad you asked.
- Fire the Puck: No matter who's in goal tonight for the Canadiens, the Blue Jackets need to make a habit of getting pucks to the net. Montembeault and Primeau have struggled significantly, and Montreal's blue-line depth is weak.
- Wake up the Power Play: It's been a prolonged slump for the Blue Jackets on the power play, but they finally saw one go in against the Rangers on Thursday night. Montreal's penalty kill ranks third-last in the NHL at 72.8%, so if the Blue Jackets are able to earn some power-play time, they need to take advantage of it.
- Build Off Thursday: The Blue Jackets haven't won two games in a row since a three-game win streak in late November (BUF, WPG, VAN). Although the Rangers almost doubled their shot total on Thursday, the Blue Jackets still put five in the net thanks to some excellent finishing from Sean Kuraly and Boone Jenner. The net-front presence of those two will be important for the Blue Jackets tonight.