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It’s always a unique atmosphere when the Calgary Flames (10-9-3, 23 points) host the Montreal Canadiens (11-10-1, 23 points). The Habs are hockey’s oldest and most successful team, and there’s a certain amount of respect between two clubs that met twice in the Stanley Cup Final. Add in the return to town of former Flame Sean Monahan, and it’ll be an energized evening in the ‘Dome!
The broadcast begins at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

The Flames

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Huberdeau – Lindholm – Toffoli
Dube – Kadri – Mangiapane
Ruzicka – Backlund – Coleman
Lucic – Lewis – Ritchie
Hanifin – Andersson
Weegar – Tanev
Zadorov – Stone
Jacob Markstrom starts, backed up by Dan Vladar. The projected extras are Connor Mackey and Kevin Rooney.
The Flames were full marks on Tuesday for their performance against Florida. They won 6-2, and they were equal parts opportunistic – three goals on seven shots early on – and structured. They didn’t play a perfect game and they were out-shot in all three periods, but Vladar didn’t need to be spectacular to keep them in the game. While they’ll try to allow less against Montreal, the Florida game provided a good result and a foundation to work from.
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Keep an eye on Rasmus Andersson, who was really active offensively against Florida with a goal and an assist. If the power play is going to be dangerous on a regular basis, it’ll be because Andersson is directing traffic well at the top of the zone.

The Canadiens

Projected lines courtesy Daily Faceoff:
Caufield – Suzuki – Dach
Dadonov – Dvorak – Armia
Stafkovsky – Monahan – Anderson
Pezzetta – Evans – Pitlick
Matheson – Savard
Edmundson – Guhle
Harris – Xhekaj
Jake Allen starts for Montreal, backed up by Samuel Montembeault. The projected extras are Chris Wideman and Jonathan Kovacevic. Brendan Gallagher is being evaluated for an injury and won’t play.
You could be forgiven if you thought Montreal would be bad this year. Like, Connor Bedard bad. But they’re not, in part because guys like Sean Monahan have rediscovered their form (and their health), while young faces like Caufield, Suzuki, Dach and Guhle have stepped in and played big roles. They’re not a perfect club, by any means, but hovering around the .500 mark is a big step forward for this club.
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Keep an eye on Sean Monahan. He’ll be the subject of a tribute video at the first TV timeout, but he’s also someone who can score key goals if you forget about where he is on the ice.

Unavailable players

The Flames are without Oliver Kylington.
The Canadiens are without Carey Price, Jonathan Drouin, Paul Byron, Mike Hoffman and Brendan Gallagher.

The numbers

Flames
Canadiens
10
Wins
11
23 (.523)
Points (%)
23 (.523)
52.4
xGF%
46.4
20.0
PP%
14.9
80.0
PK%
81.3

Head to head

This is the first of two meetings between these club this season. Montreal won both of their meetings last season, once in regulation and once in overtime.

Social life

Here are your recommended follows from Canadiens Twitter: