CANADIENS (9-8-2) vs. BLUE JACKETS (6-10-2)
Having conceded a season-high 45 shots on goal Tuesday night in a 1-2 shootout loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning, the Canadiens will look to right the ship in Columbus versus the Blue Jackets on Friday.
Carey Price was the star of Tuesday’s matchup, turning aside 44 shots in 65 minutes played, including several game-savers with the Canadiens on the penalty kill in the final ten minutes of play. Daniel Briere, who skated in his first game since suffering a concussion three weeks ago, was the lone scorer for the Habs. The centerman deflected a Max Pacioretty feed past Ben Bishop to tie the game at one late in the third period. Overtime solved nothing, and Valteri Filppula was the lone scorer in the shootout.
P.K. Subban saw his five-game point streak come to an end, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. The defenseman led the team with eight shots on net and 28:22 of ice time. On Thursday, Michel Therrien confirmed that Peter Budaj will get his fourth start of the season. In 13 career meetings against Columbus, Budaj is 7-5-0 with a goals against average of 2.20.
Brandon Prust will be in the lineup for the Canadiens on Friday night after being sidelined for a month with a shoulder injury. David Desharnais will also be in the lineup after sitting out Tuesday night's game as a healthy scratch.
Sitting out will be Brendan Gallagher, who is out with the flu.
The Blue Jackets were last in action on Thursday night, pushing the game to an overtime before falling 3-2 against Boston. Blake Comeau and Nick Foligno scored for Columbus, who have won only one of their last eight. Sergei Bobrovsky started on Thursday, so head coach Todd Richards might send backup goaltender Curtis McElhinney into the fray against Montreal.
Offensively, Brandon Dubinsky (15 points), James Wisniewski (14 points) and Marian Gaborik (11 points) lead the way for the Blue Jackets. Defensemen Jack Johnson (23:09), Wisniewski (21:35) and Fedor Tyutin (21:17) have logged the most minutes on average per game for Columbus through the first 18 games.
On Friday, the Blue Jackets and the Canadiens will play the second of three scheduled tilts this season. On October 17th, Montreal scored three early goals before the Jackets roared back to tie the game. Tomas Plekanec then scored two goals in the final two minutes of play to give the victory to the home team. However, Montreal will be looking for its first victory in Columbus since 2007.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.
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