Maple Leafs at Canadiens: Five things you should know

The teams are battling for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens are one point behind the Leafs with 68 points.

Here are five things you should know about the Canadiens-Maple Leafs game at the Bell Centre on Saturday (7 p.m., CBC, SN1, CITY, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio):

The matchup: This is the second of four meetings between these teams and the Leafs were 3-2 overtime winners in the season opener on Oct. 3 in Toronto. This time around, the teams are battling for second place in the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens are one point behind the Leafs with 68 points, but Toronto also holds two games in hand. Each team is riding a three-game win streak, but Montreal is tied with Philadelphia for the best record in the NHL during the last 10 games with an 8-1-1 record, while the Leafs are 5-4-1 over that span.

Danault line sparks offence: The line of Jonathan Drouin, Phillip Danault and Brendan Gallagher has provided the offence during Montreal’s three-game winning streak. Drouin had two goals and two assists in Thursday’s victory over Winnipeg and he has three goals and six assists in the past three games. He has 46 points for the season, one back of team leader Max Domi. Danault had a goal and three assists in the Winnipeg game and has three goals and four assists in a four-game point streak. Gallagher has two goals and three assists in his last two games.

Canadiens’  Phillip Danault scores the fourth goal against Winnipeg Jets goaltender Connor Hellebuyck on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, in Montreal. Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS

The goalies: Carey Price made 32 saves Thursday as he ran his win streak to seven games. Price, who has been one of the top goaltenders in the league since Dec. 1, boosted his record to 23-13-4 with a 2.52 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage. He ranks fifth in the NHL in wins and he’s tied for third in shutouts with three. His 309 career wins are five off the team record held by the late Jacques Plante. The Leafs will counter with Frederik Andersen, who is 24-11-2 with a 2.56 GAA and a .923 save percentage.

Can we get granny to stay? Jersperi Kotkaniemi’s grandmother is in town for a visit and it might be a coincidence, but the precocious 18-year-old has scored in each of the four games since her arrival. Kotkaniemi has 10 goals for the season and one measure of the confidence head coach Claude Julien has in the rookie’s ability is the frequency with which he has sent him out to take faceoffs. He took 19 draws against Winnipeg and won 10 of them. The only player to take more faceoffs was Danault, who won 12 of his 21 attempts.

Leafs bring the offence: Toronto ranks fourth in the NHL in offence, averaging 3.58 goals a game. Mitch Marner leads the scoring parade with 65 points, including 20 goals, while prized free-agent signing John Tavares leads the team in goals with 32. Auston Matthews has been limited to 39 games because of a shoulder injury, but he’s healthy again and he has 24 goals and 23 assists along with a new contract. Other double-digit goal-scorers for Toronto are Kasperi Kapanen (15), Morgan Reilly (14), Nazem Kadri and Andreas Johnsson (13), Patrick Marleau (12) and Zack Hyman (10). Former Canadien Ron Hainsey is among the league leaders in plus/minus at plus-28.

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