|6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ET22:00 BRT, April 19, 2021
Rogers Place, Edmonton, Alberta Attendance: 0
Canadiens continue playoff push with two-game series vs. Oilers
Montreal Canadiens at Edmonton Oilers
- The Habs have allowed the Oilers to score just seven goals in their five meetings this season, including two goals or fewer in all four Montreal wins. Their 1.4 goals per game allowed is tied for the third-best by any team over another this season. (Predators, 1.2 vs. Blackhawks; Wild, 1.3 vs. Ducks).
- Montreal is a league-best 5-0-1 (.917) on Mondays this season, outscoring opponents 21-10 in those six games. The Canadiens have not lost in regulation on a Monday since a 3-2 home loss to the Coyotes on February 10, 2020 and their six-game point streak on Monday is tied with the Panthers for the longest active streak in the NHL.
- Corey Perry has scored 26 career goals against the Oilers but has just one assist in his two appearances against Edmonton this season. His 26 goals against the Oilers are tied for his second most against any opponent (28 vs. Coyotes) and rank third among active skaters against Edmonton behind Patrick Marleau (40) and Dustin Brown (27).
- Edmonton is riding a seven-game home winning streak after going 6-8-0 in its first 14 home games this season. The Oilers have not won eight straight home games within a single season since a nine-game run to close the 2016-17 season.
- Connor McDavid's two assists Saturday marked his 70th and 71st points of the season, coming in his 43rd game. That's the fastest any Oiler has reached 70 points in a season since 1987-88, when Wayne Gretzky got his 70th point in his 29th game. McDavid took 46 games to reach 70 points in each of the last two seasons.
- Tyson Barrie scored on the power-play for his sixth goal of the season in Saturday's win, surpassing his season total from last season's 70 games. Barrie also added a power-play assist, his 15th this season -- his 18 man-advantage points rank third among NHL defensemen behind the Lightning's Victor Hedman (22) and the Rangers' Adam Fox (21).
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It isn't often that a team has the number of both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, yet the Montreal Canadiens will look to continue their strong play against the host Edmonton Oilers and their star forwards on Monday night.
The game is the opener of a two-game set between the teams in Edmonton. Game 2 will be Wednesday night.
Montreal is 4-1-0 in five meetings against Edmonton this season, limiting the Oilers to seven goals over the five games. A huge part of that defensive effort has been keeping McDavid and Draisaitl in relative check, as the pair have combined for four points (two assists each) over the five games.
It's a far cry from how McDavid and Draisaitl have dominated the rest of the North Division. In 38 games against teams other than the Canadiens, McDavid has 69 points while Draisaitl has 61.
In Saturday's game against the Winnipeg Jets, McDavid and Draisaitl each had two assists as Edmonton won 3-0. The victory brought the Oilers within three points of Winnipeg for second place in the North Division.
"Any time you're coming down the stretch and you're playing teams ahead of you, you want to beat them and tighten the gap," McDavid said. "So (this) was a big win for that. There's teams underneath (us) that are playing well. ... We can't just float our way into the playoffs."
Montreal sits seven points behind Edmonton in fourth place, yet the Canadiens are far from rolling as they embark on a five-game trip. The Habs are 2-5-0 over their past seven games, including a 4-0 shutout loss at home to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
"It would be nice to get a lead early, just to get some confidence going and get those feel-good starts," goaltender Carey Price said. "I think it's all about just building momentum right off the start of the game."
Price was back in net after missing six games due to a lower-body injury and didn't look particularly sharp in allowing three goals on 14 shots. The Habs could opt to start Jake Allen on Monday if they wish to ease Price more slowly into his usual starting duties.
Mike Smith made 26 saves against the Jets on Saturday for his third shutout of the season. Smith likely will start again for Edmonton on Monday unless the Oilers want to give Mikko Koskinen some work -- Koskinen has appeared in just one game since March 30.
Due to three postponements against the Vancouver Canucks, the Oilers had a six-day break between games before facing Winnipeg on Saturday.
The Oilers are 8-2-2 over their past 12 games.
Special-teams play has been a major part of that success. Edmonton has killed off 21 of 22 penalties over its past nine games, while the power-play unit is 7-for-21 in its past six games.
By contrast, Montreal's power play is slumping. After failing to score during four power-play chances against Ottawa, the Canadiens are 2-for-31 with the extra attacker over their past 11 games.
The two teams also will play in Edmonton on Wednesday. The Canadiens are 2-0-0 in their two previous games in Edmonton this season.
--Field Level Media
Updated April 18, 2021