How to watch
Start time: 10:00 PM EST / 7:00 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Flames region: Sportsnet West
Streaming: NHL.tv/NHL Live
After a hard-to-watch loss to the bottom-of-the-league Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night, the Montreal Canadiens had to quickly abide by Taylor Swift’s wise words and shake it off as they got ready for their long seven-game road trip to close out 2019.
And shake it off they did. Their first opponent was the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night and, despite some questionable officiating that included a goal called back due to Artturi Lehkonen’s “goaltender interference,” the team banded together to start their trek on a winning note. Vancouver may have opened up the scoring in the first period, but it was Nick Cousins who got Montreal on the board in the second, and the power-play unit took it from there.
Let’s hope the Canadiens continue with confidence as they head to the Saddledome tonight to take on the Calgary Flames for the first time this season.
Tale of the Tape
|2-0-0||H2H Record (18-19)||0-2-0|
|53.7% (2nd)||Corsi-for pct.||50.9% (10th)|
|3.12 (11th)||Goals per game||2.58 (26th)|
|3.15 (22nd)||Goals against per game||3.00 (15th)|
|21.7% (10th)||PP%||17.2% (21st)|
|75.9% (27th)||PK%||84.1% (7th)|
The Flames are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and are currently sitting fourth in the Pacific Division. Much like the Canucks did versus the Canadiens, the Flames started off on the right foot by finding the back of the net first on Tuesday night, but that was the one and only time.
Though Calgary had a rough start to the season, they eventually started to find their groove. Even during their last two losses they produced some great scoring chances, but were also up against some great goalies who put a stop to them. Leading point-getter Sean Monahan (10G, 18A) was held off the scoresheet in those two losses, while Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk, who are right behind him with 27 points, managed just one point as well.
After head coach Bill Peters resigned on November 29 due to accusations of racial slurs and physical abuse with previous teams, assistant coach Geoff Ward stepped in as interim boss. It seems Ward brought a new style and better energy to the mix, because after the change the Flames went on a wild six-game winning streak.
The Flames have one thing going for them that the Canadiens don’t: no injuries. Well, they have one and he was placed on waivers on Wednesday — Austin Czarnik — who hasn’t suited up with the team since late October due to a lower-body injury. The Habs on the other hand have been missing the services of Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Victor Mete, Paul Byron, and Jonathan Drouin, but some of those players could be starting to make their way back in over the next few matches.
It’s usually a close contest when these two teams meet, with their last four matchups ending in a 3-2 score. Montreal had a season sweep over Calgary last year, winning both contests. Their winning streak over this team actually goes back even further to December 22, 2017 where they took home a 3-2 win as a Christmas present. Might as well bring the streak into another year while they’re at it.
Thanks to their victory over Vancouver, the Canadiens now sit in third place in the Atlantic Division once again. If they can build on their good start and keep their confidence up while on the road, hopefully they can hold on to that spot, or even inch a little higher.
Maple Leafs' goalie Petr Mrazek exits with groin injury vs. Senators – The Athletic
Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Petr Mrazek exited after the second period of a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday with what the team called a groin injury. The team had no further update on his status after the game.
Mrazek went down awkwardly on the final shot of the period from Ottawa’s Victor Mete, then hobbled down the tunnel at the end of the period. Mrazek made 26 saves but allowed three first-period goals. Jack Campbell came on for the Leafs in goal to start the third period.
Mrazek, 29, was making his debut with the Leafs after signing a three-year deal in the offseason.
(Photo: Chris Tanouye / Getty Images)
Umpire's 'Blown' Check-Swing Call Ends Epic Dodgers-Giants Series And Stuns Fans – Yahoo
The Giants’ Wilmer Flores struck out on what many believed was a blown check-swing call by first base umpire Gabe Morales. The out preserved the Dodgers’ 2-1 victory in Game 5 on Thursday, allowing the team to advance to the National League Championship Series against Atlanta.
The chances of a Giants rally appeared dim at the time. The count was 0-2, there were two outs, a runner on first, and three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer was pitching. Not to mention that Flores had never gotten a hit off Scherzer before, the San Francisco Chronicle noted.
But the anticlimactic ending to the momentous playoff clash between the historic rivals angered fans. Reporters and Major Leaguers, including the New York Mets’ Kevin Pillar (a former Giant), chimed in, too.
Check out the reactions of what some called “the check swing heard round the world.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
Cardinals acquire Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz from Eagles – Sportsnet.ca
The undefeated Arizona Cardinals have added another weapon to their arsenal.
The Cardinals, who are the only 5-0 team in the NFL, acquired three-time Pro Bowl tight end Zach Ertz from the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday for cornerback Tay Gowan and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick.
Ertz played with the Eagles since they selected him in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He set an NFL record for most receptions by a tight end in a single season with 116 catches and also had a career-high 1,163 yards during the 2018 season. Ertz, who was selected to the Pro Bowl three consecutive years from 2017-19, caught the game-winning touchdown during Super Bowl LII to help the Eagles defeat the New England Patriots 41-33 and capture their first Super Bowl.
“Zach Ertz built a special legacy in Philadelphia,” Eagles chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. “Talented, tough, and passionate, he helped to establish our team’s culture and played a vital role in our success over the years.
“Zach created so many memories that will live on forever, from setting numerous franchise and league records, to reaching across the end zone for the game-winning touchdown in our first-ever Super Bowl championship. He will always be a member of the Eagles family, not only because of what he accomplished on the field, but also because of the wonderful person, dedicated leader, and exemplary role model that he was for nine seasons in Philadelphia. We wish Zach and Julie nothing but the best.”
The 30-year-old Ertz has 18 receptions for 189 yards and two touchdowns in six games this season. Philadelphia lost 28-22 Thursday night to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Ertz hauling in a touchdown catch.
The Cardinals play the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
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