Jonathan Drouin, who played for the Canadiens for six seasons, will face-off against his old team while riding a hot streak with the Avalanche. Drouin has 16 points in his last 15 games, and has been elevated to the top line because of his strong play. The 28 year old winger signed with the Avalanche over the summer after struggling with injuries and never quite living up to expectations with the Canadiens. He’ll no doubt be a popular man with the Montreal media after morning skate.
Unfortunately, the Avalanche will not face Alex Newhook. The former Colorado forward has been out of the lineup since the end of November with a lower-body injury. It also doesn’t appear they’ll face Justin Barron, who the Avalanche sent to the Canadiens in exchange for Artturi Lehkonen. His absence is due to a healthy scratch as opposed to an injury.
Miles Wood rejoined the team Montreal, but will not play, as he has to work back into game shape. Bowen Byram skated in a non-contact jersey for the first time at morning skate. Valeri Nichushkin will not play, and there are rumors swirling around him, but nothing to confirm. There is an official update expected on him later today, according to Jared Bednar.
Alexandar Georgiev will get the start in net for Colorado. Expect either Ivan Prosvetov or Justus Annunen to start on Tuesday in Ottawa.
The Canadiens will start Jake Allen against the Avalanche. Goaltending has been one of the bright spots this season for Montreal, who don’t play defense all that well, but Allen has the worst numbers of the three net minders on the Canadiens.
While not completely out of the playoff race, Montreal is in the middle of a rebuild and isn’t expected to make a run at the postseason. If anything, they’ll be dealing players away come trade deadline, like Sean Monahan.
Expected Colorado Avalanche Lines
Jonathan Drouin – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen
Joel Kiviranta – Ross Colton – Logan O’Connor
Andrew Cogliano – Ryan Johansen – Jason Polin
Kurtis MacDermid – Fredrik Olofsson – Caleb Jones
Devon Toews – Cale Makar
Sam Girard – Josh Manson
Jack Johnson – Sam Malinski
Expected Montreal Canadiens Lineup
Caufield – Suzuki – Slafkovsky
Harvey-Pinard – Evans – Gallagher
Roy – Monahan – Armia
Pezzetta – Stephens – Ylonen
Guhle – Matheson
Harris – Kovacevic
Colorado Avalanche Power Play: 25%, 8th in NHL
Colorado Avalanche Penalty Kill: 83%, 9th in NHL
Montreal Canadiens Power Play: 17.9%, 22nd in NHL
Montreal Canadiens Penalty Kill: 73.2%, 28th in NHL
How to Watch
TV: ESPN+, Altitude TV
Radio: 92.5 Altitude Radio
Game Time: 5:00 PM MST