The Minnesota Wild begin the week with the team’s top goalie — in terms of starts and wins this season — back in the net.Monday night against the Montreal Canadiens, Cam Talbot is expected to make his first start since he suffered a lower-body injury during the Winter Classic matchup on Jan. 1.
“Extremely excited,” Talbot said during a media availability session Monday. “(The time missed) was longer than I had hoped for but with these things, you don’t want to come back too early. They can linger.
“I thought (initially) it might be a week, maybe two,. I didn’t expect it to be three,” Talbot said. “But again, we are just being extremely extra cautious right now. (The injury) is just one of those things where you have to progress, make sure you are not feeling it and give it a few extra days to really feel comfortable with it.”
The 34-year-old has a 15-8-1 record and a 3.00 goals against average for Minnesota, and was named to the Central Division squad for the NHL All-Star Game.
Kaapo Kahkonen entered the Winter Classic at the start of the third period after Talbot was removed and has posted a 4-0-1 record in his five starts since. and has been on a tear over the past few months overall.Talbot and the Wild will look to continue its point streak against a Canadiens team it has dominated in St. Paul recently. Minnesota has won the last seven matchups between the two teams at the Xcel Energy Center, and are 9-2-1 all-time against Montreal at home.
Talbot has a 4-2-1 record and a 1.63 goals against average against Montreal in his career, but this is the first game he is facing Montreal with the Wild.
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The Wild vs. Canadiens odds on WynnBET has the Wild favored by 1.5 goals at the United Center. The Wild are also the favorite on the moneyline at -340. Montreal is the underdog at +280. The over/under has the projected total goals at six.
Upcoming Wild schedule
Friday, Jan. 28: @New York Rangers, 7 p.m CST
Sunday, Jan. 30: @New York Islanders 6:30 p.m. CST
Wednesday, Feb. 2: @Chicago, 8:30 p.m. CST