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Carolina Vs Montreal | 12-8-07 | 7:00 Pm Est


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VS

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At Bell Center - Montreal, Quebec

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Game Preview

The Carolina Hurricanes have struggled away from home lately, but the next stop on their five-game road trip might be just what they needed.

Carolina will try to win in Montreal for the ninth straight time on Saturday night and hand the Canadiens their longest home losing streak in more than seven years.

The Hurricanes (15-11-3) last lost at Montreal on Feb. 28, 2004, outscoring the Canadiens 30-12 in winning eight in a row there.

After starting 6-2-2 away from home, Carolina has won just one if its last five road games - the Hurricanes were outscored 21-5 in the four losses. This road trip ends Sunday in Detroit.

Though they've dropped two of three to the Canadiens this season, Carolina is 12-4-1 against Montreal since the 2004-05 lockout, including four wins in the first round of the 2006 playoffs en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

The Canadiens (14-10-4) lost all three of their home games in that series, and enter this matchup looking to avoid their fifth straight defeat at the Bell Centre. That would be their worst losing streak at home since dropping seven in a row from Oct. 28-Nov. 20, 2000.

Carolina, though, enters the final meeting of the season between these clubs not playing its best hockey.

Since getting off to a 9-3-3 start, the Hurricanes have gone 6-8-0. They scored 58 goals while allowing 36 in the first 15 games, converting on 26.2 percent of their power plays. In the last 14 games, they have scored 33 goals and allowed 51 while converting on the power play 14.7 percent of the time.

They haven't put together back-to-back wins since Nov. 10-12, and are coming off a 2-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Leading scorer Cory Stillman (16 goals, 18 assists) had the team's lone goal against the Lightning, a desperation tally with 14 seconds left, but wasn't happy after being unable to score on any of his other five shots.

"It's frustrating when you don't score, especially in a close game," Stillman said. "I had two or three quality chances in the crease, and they don't go in. I needed to score."

Montreal has done much of its scoring on the power play, ranking among the league leaders at 24.4 percent. Alexei Kovalev has a team-high eight power-play goals.

Chris Higgins scored one of his own Thursday as the Canadiens snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win at Boston.

"It was huge, we needed to get back on the winning side," said Higgins, who scored for the third consecutive game. "We were down a little bit...the city and the fans were a little down on us."

Canadiens rookie goalie Carey Price has seven wins in 12 starts, and has been in net the past two games after Cristobal Huet pulled his groin on Dec. 1 against Nashville. He's listed as day-to-day.

Huet has been in goal for all three games against the Hurricanes this season, going 2-1-0 with a 2.66 GAA. He's 3-2-0 with a tie in six career starts against Carolina.

The Carolina Hurricanes have struggled away from home lately, but the next stop on their five-game road trip might be just what they needed.

Carolina will try to win in Montreal for the ninth straight time on Saturday night and hand the Canadiens their longest home losing streak in more than seven years.

The Hurricanes (15-11-3) last lost at Montreal on Feb. 28, 2004, outscoring the Canadiens 30-12 in winning eight in a row there.

After starting 6-2-2 away from home, Carolina has won just one if its last five road games - the Hurricanes were outscored 21-5 in the four losses. This road trip ends Sunday in Detroit.

Though they've dropped two of three to the Canadiens this season, Carolina is 12-4-1 against Montreal since the 2004-05 lockout, including four wins in the first round of the 2006 playoffs en route to winning the Stanley Cup.

The Canadiens (14-10-4) lost all three of their home games in that series, and enter this matchup looking to avoid their fifth straight defeat at the Bell Centre. That would be their worst losing streak at home since dropping seven in a row from Oct. 28-Nov. 20, 2000.

Carolina, though, enters the final meeting of the season between these clubs not playing its best hockey.

Since getting off to a 9-3-3 start, the Hurricanes have gone 6-8-0. They scored 58 goals while allowing 36 in the first 15 games, converting on 26.2 percent of their power plays. In the last 14 games, they have scored 33 goals and allowed 51 while converting on the power play 14.7 percent of the time.

They haven't put together back-to-back wins since Nov. 10-12, and are coming off a 2-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Thursday.

Leading scorer Cory Stillman (16 goals, 18 assists) had the team's lone goal against the Lightning, a desperation tally with 14 seconds left, but wasn't happy after being unable to score on any of his other five shots.

"It's frustrating when you don't score, especially in a close game," Stillman said. "I had two or three quality chances in the crease, and they don't go in. I needed to score."

Montreal has done much of its scoring on the power play, ranking among the league leaders at 24.4 percent. Alexei Kovalev has a team-high eight power-play goals.

Chris Higgins scored one of his own Thursday as the Canadiens snapped a three-game losing streak with a 4-2 win at Boston.

"It was huge, we needed to get back on the winning side," said Higgins, who scored for the third consecutive game. "We were down a little bit...the city and the fans were a little down on us."

Canadiens rookie goalie Carey Price has seven wins in 12 starts, and has been in net the past two games after Cristobal Huet pulled his groin on Dec. 1 against Nashville. He's listed as day-to-day.

Huet has been in goal for all three games against the Hurricanes this season, going 2-1-0 with a 2.66 GAA. He's 3-2-0 with a tie in six career starts against Carolina.

News & Notes

Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev skipped practice on Friday for a therapy day.

Carey Price will start in goal again when Montreal hosts Carolina on Saturday.

Forward Bryan Smolinski is day to day with a right knee injury, while winger Steve Begin is day to day with a left shoulder injury.

That means Michael Ryder will return to the lineup after being a healthy scratch in Boston.

Because Smolinski and Begin have not been placed on IR, the Canadiens remain at their 23-man limit and Mark Streit will likely move up to forward again to fill the vacant spot up front.

Goalies

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Ward

VS

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Price

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Guest Goodtown

Another BIG game, must win! Let's see our first 2 lines look like this;

Higgy-Koivu-Dandy

Konst-Pleks-Kovy

GO HABS GO

GO HABS GO

GO HABS GO

GO HABS GO

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smolinski and begin out will mix things up abit, interesting to see what guy does here. we need to reel off 4 or 5 in a row and hopefully we gained some confidence back from lastnights win

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Guest Miltie01
The game preview is kind of one sided as it mostly covers the problems of Carolina.

The problems of the Habs are unfortunately way to familiar to us fans....no need to go in depth, we already have....over and over again !!! :D

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Guest HabsFanStuckInToronto!

Yes definately want the same lines this game. They worked last game and should BE GIVEN ANOTHER CHANCE TO SHINE!

Higgins, Koivu, Dandenault (Defensively sound, offensivley capable. Dandy can get the puck in front of the net)

Kostityn, Plekanec, Kovalev (Offensive creative show)

Latendresse, Chipchura, Ryder (Lats and Chips have some chemistry developing. Ryder needs to break out)

Streit, Lappiere, Kostopolous (Can be energetic while having a little offensive capability)

Markov, Komisarek (Were amazing last game, +2)

O'Bryne, Hamrlik (What a powerful pair, we may have hit the jackpot with this combo)

Boullion, Gorges/Brisebois (Hopefully Boullion can come off a great game with another one. Gorges would be best but I doubt it)

That's what I want to see and I want to see the same effort that we got in the 1st and 3rd period which I am sure they are capable of carrying all game. They need to start stringing some wins together at home, LETS SEND THE FANS HOME HAPPY I HOPE!

PRAY FOR A WIN, GO HABS GO!!!

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Yes definately want the same lines this game. They worked last game and should BE GIVEN ANOTHER CHANCE TO SHINE!

Higgins, Koivu, Dandenault (Defensively sound, offensivley capable. Dandy can get the puck in front of the net)

Kostityn, Plekanec, Kovalev (Offensive creative show)

Latendresse, Chipchura, Ryder (Lats and Chips have some chemistry developing. Ryder needs to break out)

Streit, Lappiere, Kostopolous (Can be energetic while having a little offensive capability)

Markov, Komisarek (Were amazing last game, +2)

O'Bryne, Hamrlik (What a powerful pair, we may have hit the jackpot with this combo)

Boullion, Gorges/Brisebois (Hopefully Boullion can come off a great game with another one. Gorges would be best but I doubt it)

That's what I want to see and I want to see the same effort that we got in the 1st and 3rd period which I am sure they are capable of carrying all game. They need to start stringing some wins together at home, LETS SEND THE FANS HOME HAPPY I HOPE!PRAY FOR A WIN, GO HABS GO!!!

I'd keep dandenault off the first line and put ryder or lats there...

dandenault, imo, is not a first liner.

\I would make them like this:

Higgins, Koivu, Ryder

Kostityn, Plekanec, Kovalev

Latendresse, Chipchura, Streit

Dandenault, Lappiere, Kostopolous

possibly switching Latendresse and Ryder, and Lapierre and Chipchura....up to Carbo obviously :P

Nice game thread.

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I meant, is he playing.. Sorry.

Oh, I don't think so. We cannot call up anymore players unless we put Bégin or Smolinski on the IR, seeing that we are currently carrying a full roster of 23 players.

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Guest habsfan_10

Dandenault does a way better job on the first line then Ryder, Ryder is just a trigger man that cant find the net this year,so keep him on the third line till he can find his touch. Dandenault is a digger and can set-up plays..................................GO HABS GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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Guest crazyhorse_9000
Oh, I don't think so. We cannot call up anymore players unless we put Bégin or Smolinski on the IR, seeing that we are currently carrying a full roster of 23 players.

Oh haha sorry for some reason I had it in my mind that he was called up and not Lappierre... Dunno why. And in which case I can also answer my own question lol..

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Guest canadian_b11

Anyone remember back at least a week ago when Carbo was quoted as saying "we have an easy schedule ahead of us"...

.. It's not treating us too "easy" at all!!

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Guest Rainman

The latest I saw on nhl.com re status of Begin & Smolinski:

Canadiens Begin, Smolinski to miss game with injuries, Ryder to return

Canadian Press

Dec 7, 2007, 7:02 PM EST

MONTREAL - Canadiens forwards Steve Begin and Bryan Smolinski will miss Montreal's game against the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday night due to injuries.

Begin suffered a bruised left shoulder and Smolinski injured his right knee in Montreal's 4-2 victory over the Bruins in Boston on Thursday night.

An update on the seriousness of the injuries is expected on Saturday.

Left winger Michael Ryder, a healthy scratch in Boston, is set to return to the lineup.

GO HABS GO !!!

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Guest HabsMan11

Going to this one, first one this year....hopefully I can start off strong :D

I'm bringing my Dryden mask from last year for good luck :P and to get on TV... :D

Should be a good one.

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Guest HabsFanStuckInToronto!

I was either going to go to this game or the super amazing game on November 17th against the Boston Bruins. It is most likely clear I got lucky with the one I picked because it was easily the most entertaining game this season.

It was so emotional and that just made the game great. So I hope for a big win tonight but not as emotional so I know that I picked the right game!

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Guest Miltie01

This will be a bigger challenge than Boston, so I hope the boys are prepared.

We will see how ready young O'Byrne is to be an NHL defenseman tonight.

Carolina likes to attack the crease and crash the net, big challenge for him(been a big challenge for our current D all season).

I want the D to keep Carey's crease free from Canes players, and better still, I would loike to see our forwards crash Cam Ward's crease for a change. Turn about is fair play !!!!

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