Before the old Original Six foes take the ice, however, the Maple Leafs will honor one of their all-time great players, Mats Sundin. The Swedish centerman will have his No. 13 jersey raised to the rafter in a ceremony prior to tonight's game.
Sundin is Toronto's all-time leader in goals (420) and points (987) and is sixth on the Maple Leafs' list in games played (981). The 40-year-old played his final NHL season with Vancouver in 2008-09 and he posted 564 goals and 1,349 points in 1,346 games with Toronto, Quebec and the Canucks.
The Maple Leafs enter tonight holding onto the eighth and final playoff seed in the East and are nine points ahead of Montreal in the conference standings, but the Canadiens have fared better in recent games. The Habs have won three in a row for the first time in months, while Toronto has suffered consecutive regulation losses on the heels of a three-game win streak of its own.
The Leafs are 2-1-0 against Montreal this year and each club has four wins over the last eight encounters in this series. The Canadiens have won two of the last three meetings at the ACC.
Montreal recorded a 4-2 road win over the New York Islanders on Thursday, giving the Habs their first three-game winning streak since a season-best four-game stretch from Oct. 26-Nov. 4. Max Pacioretty netted his first career hat trick to help lift the Canadiens at Nassau Coliseum. The big night pushed Pacioretty's team high in goals to 22 on the year.
Scott Gomez also scored -- his first goal since February 5, 2011 -- and Carey Price made 31 saves for the Canadiens. Gomez goal drought has been a big story in Montreal, where fans have been less than thrilled with the highly-priced forward's lack of production.
"Obviously I want to score," said Gomez. "But the team has to win."
The victory improved Montreal's road record to 11-13-2 this season.
On the injury front for the Canadiens, defenseman Yannick Weber is questionable for tonight after missing the last game with a knee injury.
The Maple Leafs, who are just one point ahead of Washington for the eighth seed, are back for one home game after going 0-2 on their recent tour of Winnipeg and Philadelphia. After today's test against the Habs, Toronto will head out on a three-game swing.
Toronto was dealt a 4-3 loss by the Flyers on Thursday, as Scott Hartnell led the way for Philadelphia with a goal and an assist.
"We didn't really start playing until the beginning of the second period. They had us on our heels," Toronto head coach Ron Wilson said.
The Maple Leafs have won their last three home games and are 16-8-4 as the host this year.