A net gain with the return of Cam Talbot

Match

Montreal Canadians

8-25-7

Minnesota Savage

24-10-3

Monday January 24

7:00 p.m. CST

The Minnesota Wild start the week with the team’s best goaltender — 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 suffering a lower-body injury in the Winter Classic game on Jan. 1.

“Extremely excited,” Talbot said during a media availability session on Monday. “(The missed time) was longer than I had hoped, but with these things you don’t want to come back too soon. They can linger.

“I (initially) thought it might take a week, maybe two. I didn’t expect it to be three,” Talbot said. “But again, we’re just extremely cautious right now. (The hurt) is just one of those things where you need to work on it, make sure you don’t feel it and give it a few extra days to really feel comfortable with it.

The 34-year-old is 15-8-1 with a 3.00 goals-against average for Minnesota, and was named to the Central Division team for the NHL All-Star Game.

Kaapo Kahkonen entered the Winter Classic early in the third period after Talbot was retired and went 4-0-1 in his five starts since. and has been in tears for the past few months overall. Talbot and the Wild will be looking to continue their point streak against a Canadiens team they dominated in St. Paul recently. Minnesota has won the last seven meetings between the two teams at Xcel Energy Center and is 9-2-1 against Montreal at home.

Talbot is 4-2-1 with a 1.63 goals-against average against Montreal in his career, but this is his first game in Montreal with the Wild.

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Betting odds

the Wild vs Canadians Odds at WynnBET has the Wild favored by 1.5 goals at the United Center. The Wild is also the favorite on the moneyline at -340. Montreal is the underdog at +280. The over/under has the expected total of goals at six.

Wild schedule to come

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

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