Oilers at Canadiens: Five things you should know


The Canadiens still need at least one point to assure themselves of a playoff spot in the Canadian division.

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Here are five things you should know about the Canadiens-Oilers game at the Bell Centre Monday (7 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN-690, Radio, 98.5 FM).

The matchup: The Canadiens still need at least one point to assure themselves of a playoff spot in the Canadian division and they are hoping to gain some momentum as they wrap up the regular season with home games against the Oilers Monday and Wednesday. It won’t be easy because the Canadiens have dropped three in a row after losing 3-2 in Toronto Saturday while the Oilers locked up second place with a win over Vancouver. Montreal comes into the game with a 4-3-0 record against Edmonton.

Who’s in goal? The Canadiens added Jake Allen in the off-season to give the overworked Carey Price some rest, but now the Canadiens need Price to give Allen a break. Allen made his 27th appearance of the season Saturday and he has had only seven periods of rest in the 11 games since he replaced Price, who suffered a concussion on April 19. In an ideal world, the Canadiens would like to see Price play in one of the two games against Edmonton so that he doesn’t go into the playoffs cold. The problem is that Price has been skating for only four or five days and has yet to face any NHL-calibre shots.

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Medical update: The Canadiens had the day off Sunday and that means we don’t have an update on whether any of the other injured Canadiens are ready to  rejoin the lineup. We do know that Phil Danault’s concussion will keep him out until the playoffs along with Brendan Gallagher, who is recovering from a broken thumb. Defenceman Shea Weber and forward Paul Byron have been designated as day-to-day. If they get the green light to play, you can expect that Eric Staal and Jon Merrill will be coming out of the lineup.

McDavid is one for the century: There’s no doubting that Connor McDavid is currently the best player in the world and he put an exclamation point on his Hart Trophy season by collecting a goal and three assists against Vancouver Saturday to reach the 100-point mark in only 53 games. McDavid has produced 60 points in his last 28 games and had three or more points in eight of his last 11 games. The Canadians have done a decent job against McDavid, limiting him to two goals and six assists in seven games, but that was largely the result of a strong defensive effort by Danault, who won’t be available.

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Draisaitl reaches milestone:  Leon Draisaitl, the other half of Edmonton’s dynamic duo, reached a milestone of his own Saturday when McDavid set him up for the winning goal in the 4-3 victory over the Canucks. It was the 500th NHL point for the 25-year-old German. Draisaitl is second in the NHL scoring race with 79 points. He’s coming off an impressive  2019-20 campaign when he was the league’s leading scorer and also won the Hart Trophy as the league MVP. Mike Smith, the 39-year-old goaltender, shares the net with Mikko Koskinen and he’s having his best season in a decade with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.

phickey@postmedia.com

twitter.com/zababes1

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