The Montreal Canadiens hope to get their offense in gear Tuesday as they face off against the Chicago Blackhawks in their home opener. Montreal scored a total of three goals during its season-opening three-game road trip, which concluded Sunday with a 2-0 loss to the New York Rangers.
Brendan Gallagher is the only member of the Canadiens with multiple points while he and Phillip Danault each have scored a short-handed goal. Chicago was on the way to its third straight win to start the season Monday before squandering a two-goal lead in the latter half of the third period and dropping a 4-3 decision in overtime at Toronto. Defenseman Jan Rutta and Richard Panik recorded a goal and an assist apiece, with the latter’s tally being just the second of the Blackhawks’ 18 this season scored on the power play. Panik, who recorded a career-high 22 goals last campaign, is one off the team lead in both tallies (three) and points (five).
TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network, TSN2, NBCSN Chicago, RDS (Montreal)
ABOUT THE BLACKHAWKS (2-0-1): Rutta’s NHL career has gotten off to a strong start as the 27-year-old Czech has notched at least one point in each of his first three games. He also has posted a plus-7 rating, which ties him with captain Jonathan Toews for first on the team. Brandon Saad, who tops the club with four goals, notched an assist Monday to pull even with Ryan Hartman and Patrick Kane for the team lead of six points.
ABOUT THE CANADIENS (1-2-0): Scoring on Sunday just wasn’t in the cards for Montreal, which had a pair of apparent goals waved off after video reviews in the first period. Andrew Shaw was ruled to have used a kicking motion to score on the first, while captain Max Pacioretty’s goal was overturned due to goaltender interference. Defenseman Shea Weber, who leads the team with 12 hits and seven blocked shots, is the only member of the club with a positive plus/minus rating (plus-1).
1. The Canadiens entered Monday one of six teams yet to score a power-play goal.
2. Only three of the 19 skaters Chicago has dressed over its first three games have not landed on the scoresheet.
3. Montreal has registered at least 34 shots in each of its first three contests.
PREDICTION: Blackhawks 4, Canadiens 2