Montreal Canadiens vs. Seattle Kraken Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 4th 2023

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The Montreal Canadiens will try to patch together another lineup when they host the Seattle Kraken on Monday night.

The Canadiens learned on Saturday that Alex Newhook would miss 10-12 weeks with a high ankle sprain sustained in a 5-1 loss at the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

Newhook has 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 23 games this season.

The Canadiens were already without defensemen David Savard (broken hand), Arber Xhekaj (upper body) and Jordan Harris (lower body), and forward Rafael Harvey-Pinard (lower body).

Kirby Dach, another forward who tied for second on the team in points last season (38) despite missing the final 24 games with an upper-body injury, sustained a season-ending torn ACL in mid-October.

“It obviously (stinks),” Montreal captain Nick Suzuki said of losing Newhook. “We were hoping for something better. I was talking to him (on Friday), so it’s obviously unfortunate. I feel bad for him. He was playing really good hockey as of late and for us, it’s just next man up, but he’s obviously a big hole and guys are going to have to step up.”

Montreal did not fare well in its first game without Newhook.

The Canadiens rallied from an early 3-0 hole against the visiting Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night and still trailed by two goals to start the third period, but ultimately lost 5-4 in overtime, their third loss in the past four games.

“We can’t keep digging ourselves holes,” Suzuki said.

In addition to the third-period comeback that earned the Canadiens a point, another bright spot from Saturday was Montreal received two more goals from its defensemen, giving its blue liners 20 goals on the season, tops in the NHL.

The Kraken are also trying to adjust to losing center Jaden Schwartz to an upper-body injury in a 4-3 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday.

He will miss approximately six weeks.

Schwartz is second on the Kraken in goals with eight.

“Collectively, the group has to fill in those holes and again overcome his absence here for a little while,” Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said.

Brandon Tanev returned for Seattle on Saturday after missing two games with a lower-body injury, but that didn’t prevent the Kraken from losing their fourth straight game, 2-0 against the host Ottawa Senators.

“I’ve said this before, but I feel like we’ve found more ways to lose than we have to win,” Seattle forward Jordan Eberle said. “I mean, even our last game against Toronto (a 4-3 shootout loss), the line between winning and losing is so thin. We feel like we’re there, but we’re just not finding a way. So, it just comes down to us, and we have to find more ways to win.”

The Kraken had their share of odd-man rushes against Ottawa, but couldn’t solve Anton Forsberg, who made 39 saves.

Eberle said the Kraken need to create more scoring opportunities in the difficult areas.

“We’d like to get more inside and try to find some pucks around there,” Eberle said. “We’re just trying to find more second chances.”

–Field Level Media

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