Anaheim Ducks vs. Montreal Canadiens: Game Preview, Line Rushes


The Anaheim Ducks look to rebound from a 6-2 loss on Tuesday to the Toronto Maple Leafs when they take on the Montreal Canadiens on the fourth game of their five game road-trip. The loss Tuesday snapped the Ducks’ seven game winning streak, but their 47 points are still the most in the NHL. The Canadiens have won three straight to start their five game homestand after going 1-5-1 in their seven previous games before this stretch.

For the Ducks, Kyle Palmieri was moved to Injured Reserve for a shoulder injury he sustained on Tuesday. In his place, Emerson Etem was called up from AHL Norfolk and will skate on the second line on his off-wing. Ryan Getzlaf, with an assist on Tuesday, scored his 34th point of the season, moving him into a tie for eighth in the NHL with Phil Kessel. Ryan Kesler scored his 11th goal of the season Tuesday, moving him into third on the team behind Matt Beleskey and the injured Corey Perry, both of whom have 14 tallies apiece. Dany Heatley will sit out once again, while Rene Bourque makes his return to Montreal for the first time since being traded for Bryan Allen in November.

According to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, here are the expected lineups for both teams tonight.

Anaheim Ducks Forward Lines:

Bourque – Getzlaf – Devante Smith-Pelly
Beleskey – Kesler – Etem
Andrew CoglianoRickard RakellJakob Silfverberg
Patrick MaroonNate ThompsonTim Jackman

On the Ducks defense, Sami Vatanen scored his eighth goal on a shorthanded attempt on Tuesday. He leads the Ducks defensemen in scoring with 24 points, and that total is tied with Brent Burns for the third highest point total among all NHL blue-liners. Colby Robak will draw back into the lineup, while Mark Fistric will come out. Francois Beauchemin will sit out for the 11th straight game with a broken bone in his hand.

Anaheim Ducks Defense Pairings:

Cam FowlerBen Lovejoy
Hampus Lindholm – Robak
Clayton Stoner – Vatanen

As for the Canadiens, they are coming off a 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. Max Pacioretty leads the Canadiens with 13 goals and 25 points. David Desharnais has a team-leading 15 assists. Alex Galchenyuk has slid over to center the top-line, and the 3rd overall pick in 2012 recorded his first career hat trick on Tuesday. Galchenyuk now has nine goals and 21 points on the season. Lars Eller, who has missed the past four contests with an upper-body injury, will be a game-time decision. He skated at practice in a non-contact jersey.

Montreal Canadiens Forward Lines:

Pacioretty – Galchenyuk – Brendan Gallagher
Jiri SekacTomas PlekanecDale Weise
Brandon Prust – Desharnais – P.A. Parenteau
Michael BournivalManny MalhotraEric Tangradi

On the Canadiens defense, P.K. Subban has been terrific since signing his eight year, $72 million extension in the offseason. He has eight goals and 22 points while logging over 25 minutes per game. Just as how the Canadiens unloaded a contract with term for a veteran defenseman when acquiring Allen from the Ducks, the Canadiens acquired Sergei Gonchar from the Dallas Stars for veteran forward Travis Moen. Allen will not play, as he has missed the past three games with the flu.

Montreal Canadiens Defense Pairings:

Andrei Markov – Subban
Alexei Emelin – Gonchar
Nathan BeaulieuTom Gilbert

In net, Frederik Andersen (17-5-4, 2.46 GAA, .912 SV%) gets his 20th consecutive start for the Ducks. He allowed four goals on 20 shots before being pulled for veteran Ilya Bryzgaov on Tuesday. Opposing Andersen will be Carey Price (17-8-1, 2.33 GAA, .923 SV%), making his 27th start in the Canadiens’ 33rd game of the season. Price stopped 25 of 26 shots in getting the win Tuesday against the Hurricanes, and he is tied for second in the NHL in wins with Marc-Andre Fleury and Andersen (17). Price is also fourth in the NHL in minutes played, behind Cory Schneider, Pekka Rinne, and Andersen.

Jason Byun is the editor for Pucks of a Feather. He can be found on Twitter. For more Anaheim Ducks coverage, follow Pucks of a Feather on Twitter or like us on Facebook.