The Canadiens are winless in their last three games (0-3-1) and are coming off a 6-0 home loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.

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Here are five things to know about the Canadiens-Predators game at the Bell Center on Saturday (7 pm, City, SNE, TVA Sports, TSN-690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

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The match: The Canadiens are winless in their last four games (0-3-1) and are coming off a 6-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Bell Center on Thursday night. The loss left Montreal at 4-13-2, putting them eight points behind fourth-place Red Wings, which maintains a warm spot in the Atlantic Division standings for the Bruins. Boston is fifth with 16 points, but has six fewer games in Detroit and Montreal. The Predators have been hanging around Montreal for the past few days because their game in Ottawa on Thursday was postponed due to a COVID outbreak in the Senators’ locker room. Nashville lost 3-0 at Toronto on Tuesday night, but is 7-2-1 in its last 10 games.

Flip a coin: That could be Dominique Ducharme’s best way to decide who starts in goal because none of his options are good. Carey Price, who is working to get back in shape after taking 30 days off to go through the NHL / NHLPA player assistance program, and Jake Allen (concussion) are on the day-to-day list, but Ducharme said there was only a “slim chance” Allen would be ready on Saturday. That leaves the choice between Sam Montembeault (0-3-1, 3.71 goals against average and a .892 save percentage) and Cayden Primeau (0-2-0, 4.82 GAA and .877 save percentage). The Predators rely on Juuse Saros (7-5-1, 2.17 GAA and .928 save percentage. 5-foot-11-inch Saros and former Canadian Jaroslav Halak are the only NHL goalkeepers under six feet tall.

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Shooting blanks: When Tyler Toffoli scored 28 goals last season, he was finding the back of the net on 17.7 percent of his shots. It wouldn’t be reasonable to expect Toffoli, who has a career success rate of just over 11 percent, to repeat that performance, but his numbers have dropped considerably. He has three goals from 49 shots, the team’s highest, for a 6.1 percent success rate. Brendan Gallagher has three goals and a 6.5 shooting percentage, his career low. Cole Caufield (21 shots) and Artturi Lehkonen (26 shots) are looking for their first goals, while Joel Armia has one goal on 41 shots for a 2.4 shooting percentage.

Duchene is back on track: After two mediocre seasons marked by injuries and what Matt Duchene describes as bad luck, he is starting to pay dividends on the seven-year, $ 56 million contract the Predators gave him in 2019. Duchene is Nashville’s top scorer with nine. , and his 16 points are tied for the team lead with defender Roman Josi (six goals) and center Mikael Granlund (three goals). If you bought a ticket to this game hoping to see Michael McCarron, the Canadiens’ first-round pick in 2013, you may be in luck. McCarron dressed for Nashville’s final four games after being called up from the AHL. He has no points, but has had two fights.

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Players Coach: The Canadiens’ slow start has raised questions about whether Ducharme’s message has been reaching players, but Toffoli and Josh Anderson expressed their confidence in Ducharme during a press release Friday. “I think there is good communication,” Anderson said. “We are always talking about the game, we make a lot of videos every day. Communication is there, it’s about getting out there and running. We’re not doing that right now. ”Anderson said there are no bad teams in the NHL, but he would get a discussion from fans who booed the Canadiens off the ice after their 6-0 loss Thursday.

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Reference-montrealgazette.com

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