For the second time this season, the Montreal Canadiens will welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs into the Bell Centre on Saturday night in the latest installment of a rivalry that spans nearly a century.
In the pair's first meeting, the Maple Leafs emerged victorious, 2-1. Toronto goals from Tyler Bozak and Nazem Kadri were enough to overshadow Montreal's lone goal off the stick of Brian Gionta.
The Maple Leafs (6-5-0) are coming off a come-from-behind win over the Winnipeg Jets, 3-2. Toronto was down late, but showed resiliency by netting the final two goals of the game in the third period to take the victory.
The Canadiens (6-3-1) were unable to hold onto the 4-2 lead they took in the third period against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night. Instead, the Sabres forced overtime and eventually won the contest in the shootout.
One point separates these two teams in the Northeast Division, while first place is well within their grasp.
Let's take a look at everything you need to know for this game between the Canadiens and Maple Leafs.
When: Saturday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. ET
Where: Bell Centre, Monteal, Quebec, Canada
Watch: NHLN (Check local listings)
Live Stream: NHL GameCenter
Best Storyline: The Rivalry
The rivalry between the Canadiens and the Maple Leafs dates back to 1917 when these two squads first met.
Both teams failed to make the playoffs last season and haven't met in a playoff series in years, but that doesn't take anything out of just how heated and exciting this matchup normally is with all the bragging rights on the line.
Mike Brown of the Maple Leafs and Brandon Prust of the Canadiens threw fists with one another last time around, so don't be surprised if things boil over on the ice when these two teams meet again.
Key Players to Watch
P.K. Subban, Defense
Subban has one point in each of his first four games and has a goal in his last two appearances for Montreal. Great one-timer skills and a solid slap shot, along with his passing abilities have helped make Subban a dependable two-way player.
On defense, Subban is an intimidating force and can lay any player out with a huge hit. He'll be tasked with making things difficult for some of Toronto's premiere players on offense and will be a huge factor in how well Montreal's defense fares overall.
Carey Price, Goalie
After Peter Budaj started in a losing effort against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night, the Canadiens are looking forward to getting Price back in net for this matchup.
Price is 6-2 on the season with his second loss coming against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday. Despite the loss, Price was solid after stopping 21 of 23 shots, but he wasn't able to get the necessary offensive support as the Canadiens could only muster up one goal.
In the season-opening meeting with Toronto, Price more than kept his team in the game with 24 saves in 26 chances, however scoring goals was the issue for Montreal.
For the season, Price is posting a GAA of 1.74, which is good enough for No. 4 in the NHL among goaltenders. He consistently gives his team a chance to win night in and night out, so now all the Canadiens have to do is score some goals for this elite goaltender.
Matt Frattin, Right Winger
In eight games this season, Frattin has already netted six goals for the Maple Leafs to go along with two assists.
With his ability to put the puck into the back of the net and set his teammates up, Frattin is a catalyst for Toronto who can make things happen in multiple ways. He proved that after netting a clutch equalizer against Winnipeg.
After scoring four goals in his first four games, Frattin has scored twice in his last four, but has failed to notch an assist in that span. Coming into this game, he is tied for the team lead in the goals department and will be a big piece in Toronto's offense in this game.
James Reimer, Goalie
After a disappointing 2011-12 campaign, Reimer looks to be off to a solid start to this shortened season. Reimer is 4-3 with a GAA of 2.7.
In the Maple Leafs' win over the Jets on Thursday night, Reimer stopped 23 shots in 25 chances, and after Toronto fell behind 2-1, Reimer kept the score that way while his teammates answered with two late goals to pick up the win.
We didn't get to see Reimer in Toronto's last meeting with Montreal, so it'll be interesting to see how well he does in stopping the Canadiens' solid offensive attack.
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