Losing their starting goalie was a big reason why the Montreal Canadiens spiraled. The Arizona Coyotes can point to a drop in scoring as the root of their collapse.
The Canadiens are making another switch in net as they try to avoid a fourth straight road loss Monday night against the Coyotes.
Montreal (27-25-4) has been without Carey Price for almost three months, and reports claim the reigning MVP could be lost for the season because of a knee injury that doesn't require surgery. The Canadiens are 10-21-2 without him, falling from the top of the NHL standings to six points out of a postseason spot.
Mike Condon is 6-14-2 with a 2.67 goals-against average in 24 games since Price went down, and the rookie is expected back in net after a poor performance by Ben Scrivens.
Scrivens gave up three goals on eight shots and was pulled 1:28 into the second period before Condon stopped 11 of 13 shots in a 6-4 loss at Buffalo on Friday.
“We have the philosophy where the goalie who wins is the one who plays,” coach Michel Therrien told the team's official website. “We want to avoid playing musical chairs.”
Condon, though, is 1-7-1 with a 2.90 GAA over his last nine starts, while Scrivens had a 1.30 GAA and had won three straight prior to Friday. Scrivens, though, is 0-3-1 with a 3.87 GAA over his last four against Arizona.
Condon had 17 saves in a 3-2 home loss to the Coyotes on Nov. 19 that was Montreal's third defeat in the previous four meetings. However, the club is 6-1 over its last seven trips to the desert.
Sven Andrighetto is making his first appearance in Arizona looking to build on his two-goal performance Friday. The 22-year-old right wing will again be on the Habs' top line with Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais.
“We want to put him in a position where he can show what he can do offensively. We put him with two good offensive guys and it went well, but he's a guy who needs to produce,” Therrien said.
“If he wants to have a career in the National Hockey League, he has to produce in the National Hockey League. He responded well last game and we hope that continues.”
The Coyotes (25-24-6) will look to begin pulling out of a recent funk in which they've gone 3-8-2 with an average of 1.85 goals after netting 3.21 on a 9-2-3 stretch.
The offensive woes were on display in Saturday's 4-1 loss at San Jose, which limited Arizona to only one shot on goal in the third period.
“We worked hard. It was some execution that led to some mistakes that ended up in the back of our net,” coach Dave Tippett said. “We had lots of 'try.' We couldn't execute enough to get ourselves back in the game.”
The drop in scoring has coincided with Max Domi's struggles. The rookie left wing has just four assists over the past 13 games, and he didn't factor in the scoring at Montreal in November.
Shane Doan had a goal in that matchup, but he finished without a point against the Sharks a day after he had three in a 4-1 win over Calgary to give him a franchise-record 931 in his career.