Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs preview: Montreal looks for 1st win of season against division foe

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs (12-8-0) will host the Montreal Canadiens (12-4-3) at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night.

It will mark the third of five meetings between the two Northeast Division rivals this season.

Despite Montreal owning the top-spot in the increasingly competitive Northeast, Toronto has claimed ownership to the season series against their division foe. Registering regulation victories in both contests this season, the Maple Leafs managed a 2-1 victory on the opening night of the season and followed it up with a dominating 6-0 win on Feb. 9.

That game also featured an incident between Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty and Maple Leafs forward Mikhail Grabovski, where Pacioretty alleged that Grabovski bit him during a scrum. The NHL ruled that there was inconclusive evidence to determine if Grabovski actually did.

Both of Toronto's goaltenders have registered victories against the Canadiens this season, with injured netminder James Reimer collecting the shutout. Ben Scrivens stopped all but one of the 22 shots he faced on opening night and is expected to get the start on Wednesday.

Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel has recorded a team-high five points against the Canadiens this season (goal and four assists), while captain Dion Phaneuf has compiled three points (goal and two assists).

Toronto will enter the night off a victory against the Philadelphia Flyers on Monday night and have collected victories in two of their last three games.

Montreal has been on a roll since the teams last met. The Canadiens have earned at least one point in their last eight games and managed to compile a five-game winning streak over that span. The club will be entering the contest off a shootout loss to the red-hot Ottawa Senators on Monday night.

Wednesday night's game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., ET and will be televised on CBC and TSN.

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