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GAME DAY PREVIEW: Game Thirty-Five- Canucks @ Montreal

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After a late fumble that coughed up another point, J.T. Miller does it again in OT to salvage another brilliant Demko performance.

Vancouver Canucks v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images

VANCOUVER CANUCKS (16-16-2) vs MONTREAL CANADIENS (13-8-9)

BELL CENTRE- MONTREAL, PQ

4:00PM PST

TV: CBC, SNONE, CITY. RADIO: SPORTSNET 650

OPPOSING BLOG: HABS EYES ON THE PRIZE

They got to within a minute of pulling it off, but as we’ve seen from this team, especially against Montreal this season, they simply can’t close the deal. Fortunately, J.T. Miller was able to pull off a 2nd highlight reel OT winner on this road trip to ensure that another outstanding performance from Thatcher Demko did not go to waste. It’s a huge win in terms of keeping their playoff hopes alive, and it continues a run over the last 10 that has seen them drop just 2 games. The questions are: Can they keep this up, and will it matter given how deep a hole they dug for themselves in the first half of the season?

One thing is certain: They absolutely must win in regulation tonight. With the games in hand, if they can’t start overtaking teams ahead of them, they will fail in their quest to make it back to the playoffs this season, and that means they have to stop giving out points when they win.

Is this the biggest game of the year? Absolutely. Until the next one, because this run has to continue if they hope to defy some pretty astronomical odds and advance to the playoffs, but this current streak is certainly helping their cause. They’ve broken our hearts before though, and I think we’ve all been through this enough times that it’s best not to get excited until it’s actually time to get excited.

LINEUPS

Canucks projected lineup

Nils Hoglander — Bo Horvat — Brock Boeser

Jimmy Vesey — J.T. Miller — Jake Virtanen

Tyler Motte — Brandon Sutter — Jayce Hawryluk

Antoine Roussel — Adam Gaudette — Zack MacEwen

Alexander Edler — Nate Schmidt

Quinn Hughes — Travis Hamonic

Jordie Benn — Tyler Myers

Braden Holtby

Thatcher Demko

Scratched: Jalen Chatfield

Injured: Elias Pettersson (upper body), Jay Beagle (undisclosed), Tanner Pearson (lower body), Micheal Ferland (head), Justin Bailey (upper body)

Canadiens projected lineup

Jonathan Drouin — Jesperi Kotkaniemi — Josh Anderson

Tomas Tatar — Phillip Danault — Brendan Gallagher

Tyler Toffoli — Nick Suzuki — Joel Armia

Paul Byron — Jake Evans — Corey Perry

Joel Edmundson — Shea Weber

Brett Kulak — Jeff Petry

Alexander Romanov — Xavier Ouellet

Carey Price

Jake Allen

Scratched: Victor Mete, Artturi Lehkonen, Laurent Dauphin, Michael Frolik

Injured: Ben Chiarot (hand)

Braden Holtby makes his first start since March 2nd tonight, and it’s probably gonna be his last this month unless he pulls off something special. With just 3 games left this month after this one, Demko is sure to get enough rest for the April grind. One other note, Jay Beagle had been listed as a scratch over the last couple games. He’s now on the injured list, though the Canucks don’t seem to have disclosed what the injury is.

GAME DAY CHATTER

GAME DAY BATLE HYMN

In my never ending quest to bring you songs that are metal, weird, awesome, or some combination of the three, today’s offering from the Two Minutes To Late Night folks, doing a 90’s club hits medley, metal style. And let’s face it, you actually don’t know how you ever lived until you heard a metal version of Sandstorm. Enjoy the game. Go Canucks Go!