Birthday boy Samuel Montembeault gets start for Canadiens in Vegas

Defenceman Mike Matheson will be a game-time decision for Habs against the Golden Knights after suffering a lower-body injury.

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Samuel Montembeault will celebrate his 27th birthday Monday by starting in goal for the Canadiens against the defending Stanley Cup champions in Las Vegas (10 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

Montembeault has a 2-1-0 record this season with a 3.29 goals-against average and a .901 save percentage.

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The Canadiens (5-2-1) are coming off a 4-3 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets Saturday night at the Bell Centre with Jake Allen in goal. Allen made 42 saves in that game and also stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout as the Canadiens were outshot 45-29. Allen improved his record to 3-0-1 with a 2.63 GAA and a .930 save percentage.

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Defenceman Mike Matheson, who missed the third period of Saturday’s game because of a lower-body injury, took part in Monday’s morning skate in Las Vegas and will be a game-time decision against the Golden Knights.

Cole Caufield leads the Canadiens in scoring with 4-5-9 totals, followed by Sean Monahan (4-3-7), Nick Suzuki (1-6-7) and Matheson (1-6-7). Forwards Josh Anderson, Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, Juraj Slafkovsky and Michael Pezzetta have yet to score a goal this season.

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The Golden Knights (8-0-1) are coming off a 4-3 shootout win over the Kings Saturday in Los Angeles. The only defeat the Golden Knights have suffered this season was a 3-2 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars on Oct. 17. The Golden Knights have outscored the opposition 35-20 for a league-best goal differential of plus-15. William Karlsson and Shea Theodore are tied for the lead in scoring for the Golden Knights with 3-7-10 totals, followed by Jack Eichel (3-6-9). Karlsson has a six-game point streak (3-5-8) and Theodore has a five-game point streak (2-6-8).

This is the first of two games between these teams this season. The Golden Knights will be at the Bell Centre on Nov. 16.

The Golden Knights won both games against the Canadiens last season, beating them 6-4 at the Bell Centre and 4-3 in Las Vegas.

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Vegas leads the NHL in hits this season with 189 and Golden Knights forward Paul Cotter leads the league with 34 hits. The Canadiens rank fourth in the NHL in hits with 170, led by Arber Xhekaj (21), Anderson (20) and Pezzetta (20).

This is the first game of a three-game road trip for the Canadiens, who will visit the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday (10 p.m., TSN2, RDS, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM) and the St. Louis Blues on Saturday (7 p.m., Citytv, TVA Sports, TSN 690 Radio, 98.5 FM).

The Canadiens have only played two games on the road so far this season, posting a 1-0-1 record.

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