STL@MTL: What you need to know

MONTREAL — The Canadiens (15-21-3) continue their home game streak with a matchup against the Blues tonight.

TICKETS: Canadians v. Blues

Here’s what you need to know before the game:

1. The Canadiens’ first game of 2023 didn’t go as planned Thursday night, as the team lost 4-1 to the Rangers. Joell Armia was the lone scorer for Montreal. It was his first goal of the season. Head coach Gerard Gallant’s squad scored three times in the second period courtesy of Chris Kreider, Braden Schneider and Filip Chytil to give New York a 3-0 lead early in the third period. That’s what finally sealed the deal. Chytil added an empty-net goal at the end of regulation. Goaltender Jake Allen made 27 saves in the loss. The Canadiens are 0-6-1 in their last seven games.

Video: MTL Recap: Armia scores in Canadiens’ loss to Rangers

2. David Savard could play his 700th career NHL game tonight. Prior to joining Montreal, the 32-year-old veteran defenseman played 597 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets and 14 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, with whom he won the Stanley Cup in 2021. Savard is averaging 22 :23 ice time per game this season in 26 appearances. He ranks second on the list with 79 blocked shots.

Video: MTL@CBJ: Savard deflects in Dach’s feed in the 3rd

3. The Blues are on a two-game winning streak after their 5-3 win over the Devils on Thursday night in New Jersey. Robert Thomas scored two goals and had an assist, Pavel Buchnevich had three assists, and goaltender Jordan Binnington made 36 saves in his sixth straight start for St. Louis, which is 7-2-2 in its Last 11 matches. Jordan Kyrou is the club’s leading scorer with 38 points (19 goals, 19 assists), while Thomas is second with 37 points (10 goals, 27 assists). Buchnevich is third with 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists). The Blues are without two key players after losing center Ryan O’Reilly for six weeks (broken foot) and forward Vladimir Tarasenko for four weeks (hand).

4. This is the second and final regular season meeting between the two teams. The Canadians picked up a 7-4 victory on October 29 in St. Louis. Christian Dvorak recorded the first hat trick of his NHL career, while Cole Caufield scored twice. Nick Suzuki and Juraj Slafkovksy had also been shining the light at the Enterprise Center.

Video: Hat trick for Dvorak, victory for the Canadians

5. The puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (ET). You can watch the game on Sportsnet East, CityTV, TVA Sports and Bally Sports Midwest, or listen to it on the radio on TSN 690 and 98.5 fm.

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