Canadiens try to start homestand directly against Ducks – Archyde

January 26, 2022; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Anaheim Ducks’ Troy Terry (19) watches the game against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first period at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens will look to turn their season around when they open an eight-game home stand against the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night.

The Canadians are halfway through the regular season and have the fewest points in the NHL (23).

Montreal have only won three games out of 25 away from home this season but have been slightly better at home, winning five out of 16.

It was a dramatic drop from last season when the Canadians made a surprise trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.

However, they have shown some signs of life recently.

Montreal picked up points in three straight games last week, completing the feat for only the second time this season.

The Canadiens defeated the Dallas Stars 5-3 on Jan. 18 and then lost back-to-back overtime games to the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche, two of the best teams in the west.

However, Montreal returned to its former form on Monday, losing 8-2 to the Minnesota Wild to complete its five-game road trip.

“In the last three games I thought our game was there,” said Canada forward Josh Anderson of the three games before the 8-2 loss. “We found ways to get a point and come together.”

Then, as Anderson said, “things just got out of hand” against the Wild.

“I noticed they were circling around us in the zone and it looked like shiny hockey there for most of the game,” Anderson said. “It’s up to us as players. We have to compete, we have to be physical, win 50-50 puck fights. We just got slapped all over the ice.”

The Ducks lost 4-3 to the Maple Leafs in Toronto on Wednesday.

Anaheim bounced back from a 3-1 deficit to earn a point and gave the team a 1-0-1 mark to open their five-game road trip.

The Ducks have at least a point in three straight games against three of the top four teams in the Atlantic Division.

They defeated visiting Tampa Bay Lightning 5-1 on Friday and opened the road trip on Monday with a 5-3 win over the Boston Bruins.

The Ducks gave up three goals on penalties against the Maple Leafs, but that unit was key to Anaheim’s surprising success this season.

“Our PK is one of the best in the league,” said Ducks forward Sam Carrick. “Having (goalie John Gibson) on his head helps us, but we need to help him a lot more and stay out of the box and get back to our game, which is the same game that helped us beat Boston and Tampa. ”

Gibson will likely serve as a backup against the Canadiens after making 41 saves against the Maple Leafs.

Anthony Stolarz is expected to slip into the crease and will be looking to recover after conceding six goals in his last start on January 14, a 7-3 loss to the Wild.

Stolarz entered the COVID-19 protocol the following day but was active as Gibson’s backup in Toronto.

The Canadians have their own health problems in the goalkeeping position. Jake Allen suffered a lower-body injury last week and will be out for eight weeks, and Sam Montembeault missed the last two games with a wrist injury, putting his status in doubt. Cayden Primeau is the top pick if Montembeault is sidelined.

–Field level media

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