GAME PREVIEW | Avalanche – Canadiens: Primeau, Leskinen to Make NHL Debuts

Game Preview by Sam Gerber
Last game : MTL 4  NYI 2  F   The losing streak is over! The Habs outworked the Islanders and were rewarded. Danault scored in the final second of the first period to give them a lead. The Habs biggest leaders were the stars of the game on the same night that former captains were honoured.

For a complete game recap: Habs Skid is Over

Players to watch

  • Jeff Petry
    Petry has struggled for several games but scored the game winner against the Islanders. The goal should give Petry confidence going forward to turn his game around.
  • Otto Leskinen
    Leskinen is making his NHL debut tonight just 24 games into playing in North America. Leskinen has 12 points the AHL. I believe he will surprise but will need to be ready for the physicality.
  • Cayden Primeau
    The Habs are giving the 20 year-old his first ever NHL start. Primeau has had a good start in Laval but has struggled in four of his last five games. This call-up was rushed but he should play really well tonight. 

Keys to Victory

  • Be motivated
    With the Habs losing streak behind them they have to be motivated to stay in the win column. Two players will be making their NHL debuts, so the Habs core players will have be lead by example.
  • Focus on defending
    The Avs have one of the best offenses in the league and the Habs have to be ready. Containing MacKinnon won’t be an easy task. It will have to be a full team effort.
  • Execute with the man advantage
    After a good start, the Habs power-play is floundering. Cousins and Weal have to prove they deserve to be out there on the power-play.
Statistical Matchup by All Habs
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC | December 5, 7:00 PM ET | TV: TSN2, RDS, ALT

2019-20 statistics

AVALANCHE CANADIENS
36 (7th) Points (rank) 30 (19th)
17-8-2 Record 12-10-6
9-5-1 Away/Home 7-6-3
7-3-0 Last 10 2-5-3
3.70 GF/G 3.25
2.81 GA/G 3.46
19.8 PP% 18.8
78.6 PK% 74.1
49.24  CF% 54.32
Pre-game quotes
Claude Julien

  • “[Cayden Primeau] is one of those guys that just seems to be square and in the right position, makes the right save, and he doesn’t look like a guy who’s scrambling to get back in position, and that’s served him well to date.”
Projected forward lines, defense pairings and goaltenders by All Habs
Forwards
Donskoi – MacKinnon – Rantanen
Nieto – Kadri – Compher
Calvert – Bellemare – Nichushkin
Tynan – Jost – O’Connor
Tatar – Danault – Gallagher
Cousins – Domi – Suzuki
Lehkonen – Kotkaniemi – Armia
Peca – Thompson – Weal
Defensemen
Graves – Makar
Girard – Zadorov
Cole – Rosen
Chiarot – Weber
Kulak – Petry
Leskinen – Fleury
Out of the lineup
Scratched: Barberio
Injured: Landeskog (GTD), Wilson, Burakovsky, Johnson, Kamenev
Scratched: Reilly, Folin, Hudon
Injured: Drouin, Byron, Mete
Goalies
Pavel Francouz Cayden Primeau
Record: 5-2-0
GAA: – 2.48
Sv%: – .924
SO: 0
Alternate: Philipp Grubauer
Record: 0-0-0
GAA: – 0.00
Sv%: – .000
SO: 0
Alternate: Carey Price
 What to Expect by Sam Gerber
The Canadiens are using a rookie goaltender to turn the page on a losing streak and excite fans. The Avs have won four in a row and are the better team but they are on the second game of a back to back and will be tired. 
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