The Colorado Avalanche have taken care of business in the last week against the teams they should beat. On Monday night, they’ll need to make sure it happens again, when they take on the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal sits with just 58 points, and only Columbus has less points than them in the Eastern Conference.
As CHN reported last week, Darren Helm made the road trip with the Avalanche. On Friday, Jared Bednar was not sure when Helm would start taking contact. It turns out, he’s ready for contact right now. At morning skate, Helm was in a normal jersey. He’s not expected to play on Monday, but his return appears to be close.
The Avalanche changed up their lines against the Coyotes, and it’s possible they switch back, but we won’t know until closer to game time. It does appear as though Artturi Lehkonen will return to the top powerplay unit after moving to the second unit against the Coyotes. This will be Lehkonen’s first game back in Montreal since he was dealt to the Avalanche last March.
Alexandar Georgiev is expected to start in net.
Montreal will counter with Jake Allen in net. They’re led offensively by Nick Suzuki, who leads the team in scoring with 49 points in 66 games.
The Canadiens have lost six straight games, and are one of the teams hoping to win the draft lottery for a shot at selecting Connor Bedard. This will be the second and final matchup between the teams this year, as Colorado won the first matchup back in December in overtime.
Expected Colorado Avalanche Lines
Evan Rodrigues – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Artturi Lehkonen – J.T. Compher – Valeri Nichushkin
Andrew Cogliano – Lars Eller – Logan O’Connor
Matt Nieto – Alex Newhook – Denis Malgin
Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Samuel Girard – Bowen Byram
Jack Johnson – Brad Hunt
Expected Montreal Canadiens Lines, per MontrealHockeyNow.com
Rem Pitlick – Nick Suzuki -Denis Gurianov
Mike Hoffman – Jonathan Drouin – Josh Anderson
Rafaël Harvey-Pinard – Chris Tierney – Jesse Ylonen
Micheal Pezzetta – Anthony Richard – Alex Belzile
Mike Matheson – David Savard
Joel Edmundson – Chris Wideman
Kaiden Guhle – Johnathan Kovacevic
Colorado Avalanche Power Play: 23.2%, 8th in NHL
Colorado Avalanche Penalty Kill: 79.3%, 17th in NHL
Montreal Canadiens Power Play: 15.7%, 31st in NHL
Montreal Canadiens Penalty Kill: 73.9%, 29th in NHL
How to Watch
TV: NHL Network, Altitude TV, Sportsnet
Radio: 92.5 Altitude Sports Radio
Game Time: 5:30 PM MST