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Game #15 | Montreal @ Phoenix | 10 November 2011 9:00 pm EST


ColRouleBleu

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The Montreal Canadiens rebounded nicely after getting off to their worst start in 70 years, but they could use another bounce-back effort.

Given the Canadiens' history against the Phoenix Coyotes, a trip to the desert could be just what they need.

Montreal goes for its eighth consecutive victory in this matchup Thursday night when the well-rested Coyotes try to build some momentum for their upcoming trip.

After opening 1-5-2 to match their worst start since 1941-42, the Canadiens won four straight. However, Montreal has since suffered back-to-back defeats, 5-3 on the road to the New York Rangers on Saturday and 3-1 at home Tuesday against Edmonton.

"You're disappointed with the score but it wasn't because of a lack of effort or lack of execution," said coach Jacques Martin, whose team outshot the Oilers 29-14. "We just didn't finish ... we'll look at the tape and find a couple of errors that we need to be better and regroup for Thursday's game."

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Coyotes coach Dave Tippett has studied the tape of the Canadiens' most recent loss and knows his team better be ready, even though Phoenix has won five of seven and looked good in practice since defeating Edmonton 4-2 on Saturday.

"... (Montreal) didn't give up many shots, so I'm sure they'll be a hungry team coming in," Tippett said.

With a five-game trip kicking off Saturday against San Jose, Phoenix (7-4-2) is trying to end its three-game stretch on home ice on a positive note.

However, the Canadiens (5-7-2) have won four in a row on the road in this matchup and are 9-0-0 with three ties in the last 12 meetings overall. The Coyotes' last victory over Montreal was 4-2 at home Dec. 9, 1998.

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The Canadiens might need more than history on their side when they face Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith.

Signed in the offseason to offset the departure of Ilya Bryzgalov, Smith has made a seamless transition after spending the past three-plus seasons with Tampa Bay.

He is 5-0-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average in his last six starts after turning aside 24 shots Saturday. The Coyotes have killed 17 of 18 penalties during that stretch.

"Mike Smith is a big factor for them but at the same time, they're playing a good team game," center Petteri Nokelainen, who was acquired from Phoenix on Oct. 23, told the Canadiens' official website. "They rely on hard work and strong back checking and that's what they've been doing the last three years."

Carey Price made 27 saves in that victory to improve to 4-0-0 with a 1.74 GAA against Phoenix.

He's allowed six goals in dropping his last two starts after giving up five in winning his previous four.

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Center Martin Hanzal could give the Coyotes' power-play unit a much-needed boost - it is 1 for 8 in the last four games - as he's expected to return Thursday after missing two games with a lower-body injury.

Right wing Andrei Kostitsyn was sidelined Tuesday with a lower-body injury, but he accompanied Montreal on its two-game trip and could be on the ice Thursday. He scored in overtime the last time these clubs met to give the Canadiens a 3-2 home win Oct. 25, 2010

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:P

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I'm hoping either AK or Gomez is able to go, but not overly optimistic that will be the case. I would however like to see Emelin get another shot. He was solid last game. Right now, our PP is not working well anyways, so why not slide either Weber or Diaz out and get a guy in who adds a different element (and who can play the PP too in any case). The other thing I'd like to see is Budaj get one of the next two games. He needs to play a bit more and these are two Western conference games. Why not let him take the late start Thursday and let Carey stay rested?

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thgreat_job.gif CRB......nice GDT.

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I may eat my words later on and I hope that I do.. I was extremely excited when Cammy signed here I mean a potential 40 goal scorer when was the last time we had that? He has been a big disappointment out there IMO and now hurt again..Most nights it doesn't even look like he is wanting to compete.....Any chance we can unhold him?? Like I said I hope I end up eating my words..Just frustrated... 6 million is alot of money...

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Gomez is cleared to play, but Martin isn't putting him in. He'd rather have Weber as a forward. I wonder if he's trying to tell Gomez something.

Just because a player is medically cleared would not necessarily indicate he is physically fit enough to play. Gomez has had 1, maybe 2, practices with the team and may just need a couple of extra days to get back up to game speed. I don't think this is any kind of a message, and with so many key forwards out right now, I'm sure JM would be happy to have Gomez back in.

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I hope the guys show up, I hope they play well and I hope they get a win.

and not necessarily in that order...:P

9 pm start? Bleh.

10:00 my time.<_<

Cammalleri, Kostitsyn not at practice this morning.

Dammit

Price will get the start in nets.

Carey,Carey,Carey.

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Cammy apparently hit knee-on-knee last game (don't recall) and left practice early. Not expected to play tonight and Darche has taken his spot on the DD line.

Price will get the start in nets.

I dont recall the play in which he got hurt either but I do recall at some point during the RDS the broadcast, Marc Denis mentionned that Cammy went for a little 'walk in the corridor' to shake off some pain.

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I dont recall the play in which he got hurt either but I do recall at some point during the RDS the broadcast, Marc Denis mentionned that Cammy went for a little 'walk in the corridor' to shake off some pain.

Yeah, from what I've been able to gather from RDS, 985 sports, H I/O, and twitter, Cammy has been dealing with some ind of an ache or pull (possibly to some ischiofemoral ligament???) for a while but had this exacerbated when he was hit on the knee last game. It is expected to be short-term and he is hoping to play on Saturday (as is Gomez). So if we can make it through this game tonight, we might get some reinforcements coming.

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