USA Today Sports
The Montreal Canadiens look to avoid a season-series sweep Monday and
hand the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning their first three-game losing
streak of the campaign. The Canadiens have been outscored 16-5 in four
losses against the Lightning, including a 1-0 overtime defeat in the
last meeting at Montreal on March 10. Tampa Bay, trailing the
first-place Canadiens by three points in the Atlantic Division, comes in
off Saturday’s 4-0 loss at Detroit when it lost two key performers to
Top-four defenseman Jason Garrison was sent back home
to be evaluated after suffering an upper-body injury and physical
forward Cedric Paquette sustained a lower-body injury Saturday. The
Lightning’s magic number is two points to clinch a playoff spot and they
need one victory to set a single-season franchise record. The game
matches the league’s top scoring team (Tampa Bay) against the NHL’s top
defensive team (Montreal) — led by Hart and Vezina Trophy candidate
goalie Carey Price.
LINE HISTORY: Most shops opened the Habs around -127, but it was sitting at -135 at the time of writing.
INJURY REPORT: TB – Paquette (Ques), Garrison (Out), Coburn (Early April), Ohlund (IR). MON – Gilbert (Ques)
ICE GIRL WAR: Neither of these teams have ice girls, so enjoy these female fans instead.
ABOUT THE LIGHTNING (46-23-7): Tampa Bay was shut out for the
first time since December of 2013 on Saturday and has been blanked on 11
power-play attempts over the last two contests. Captain Steven Stamkos
has 40 goals – tied for second in the league with Rick Nash of the New
York Rangers – has not scored in four games, but boasts five against the
Canadiens this season. With veterans Garrison and Braydon Coburn (lower
body) out, the Lightning must go with three defensemen with less than
120 NHL games of experience.
ABOUT THE CANADIENS (47-21-8):
Max Pacioretty has posted five points in the last five games to match
his career high (65) and his team-leading 36th goal beat Florida 3-2 in
overtime Saturday, leaving him three from tying his all-time best. Tomas
Plekanec has recorded eight points in eight contests to equal
defenseman P.K. Subban for second in the team with 53 and is two shy of
200 career goals. Blue liner Tom Gilbert (jaw) is expected to miss his
fourth straight game Monday, but could return next week.
*Lightning are 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
*Over is 5-1-2 in the last 8 meetings.
*Lightning are 1-4 in their last 5 road games.
*Under is 6-1-2 in Canadiens last 9 home games.
COVERS CONSENSUS: N/A