The Canadiens have also been forced to rely on their backup goaltender Al Montoya through the first three games of the season, and he has been reliable thus far. After giving up only four goals over three games to the tune of a .962 save percentage, the Habs might give starting goaltender Carey Price another couple of days to recover from the flu, meaning Montoya would make his fourth consecutive start on Thursday.
Another highlight for the Canadiens is the re-emergence of defenseman Jeff Petry. After missing the first game due to injury, the seventh-year veteran has registered two goals and two assists in two games. Although the Habs have a number of new faces on their squad to start the season, most notably Shea Weber, Andrew Shaw and Alexander Radulov, the Canadiens appear to be rounding into form in short order.
NHL Odds: Coyotes Look to Bounce Back in Montreal
The Arizona Coyotes (1-1-0) were outdueled by the surging Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night after the ‘Yotes starting goaltender, Mike Smith, was forced to leave with a “lower body injury”. They’ll come into Montreal looking to get back on track against a Habs team that’s gaining confidence with each game.
The Canadiens (2-0-1) shut out the defending Stanley Cup Champion, Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-0 on Tuesday, and Montreal hopes to continue to ride backup goalie Al Montoya in the absence of starter Carey Price. Thursday will likely feature a battle of the backups (7:30 PM ET), with both teams looking to prove that they don’t need to rely on goaltending to win.