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Game 22 - Montreal Canadiens @ Carolina Hurricanes


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CANADIENS (9-9-3) at HURRICANES (8-11-3)

TV: RDS (HD), FS-Carolinas (HD)

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Season Series: Wednesday marks the second of four meetings between these Eastern Conference foes. They met last Wednesday at Bell Centre, where Montreal's Carey Price earned the shutout and a secondary assist in a 4-0 win.

Canadiens: Montreal's offense ranks 21st in the League (2.52 goals per game), but the Canadiens' recent play has seen their scoring chances drastically improve.

After scoring 11 goals in a three-game span, the Habs outshot Boston 33-18 on Monday night. But despite Price allowing only one goal in his bid for a third consecutive shutout, the Canadiens were held scoreless on home ice in a 1-0 defeat.

"We've been doing a pretty good job of limiting chances with a five-man defensive posture," Michael Cammalleri said. "Generally that's a pretty good formula. The only problem is we didn't capitalize on some of our chances. You can't win if you don't score."

Hurricanes: With the Hurricanes in desperate need of a spark as their November woes mounted, two areas that hindered Carolina all season suddenly got the wheels turning in the right direction.

Carolina's power play, among the bottom five in the NHL at 13.1 percent, perked up during the two-game win streak. Jussi Jokinen scored a power-play goal in Sunday's win against the Leafs, while Alexei Ponikarovsky notched a pair with the man advantage in the Hurricanes' 4-2 win at Philadelphia on Monday. The power-play improvement was complemented by the stellar play of Cam Ward, who allowed a total of four goals in the two wins.

"Cam's been huge the whole year, so he made some key saves at some key times and that's what you need out of your goalie," Jeff Skinner said. "Not only do you need the big saves, but when it matters and he makes them when it matters."

Injury Report: Hal Gill (virus) will be back in the lineup Wednesday, while Jaroslav Spacek (upper body) did not travel with the team and will not play. Andrei Markov took another step in his recovery when he practiced Tuesday with contact for the first time since suffering a knee injury on Nov. 13, 2010 at Carolina. Chris Campoli (lower body) and Andrei Kostitsyn (lower body) practiced on their own on the second ice at the practice facility on Tuesday, but remain on IR. … Carolina defenseman Joni Pitkanen (lower body) is listed as questionable.

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wards gotta be the best inconsistent goalie in the game...not really a good thing but not bad, on nights hes unbeatable and on others you may as well let a seventh skater play the whole time, id say the canes will drop down to the bottom five and probably pick ebert to solve their defensive problems, i mean theyre just a step above the islanders core, who after streit ive barely heard of them, ill go out on a lim and predict we win big tonight because the boys will be cranky after getting shutout on home ice by the bruins.

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wards gotta be the best inconsistent goalie in the game...not really a good thing but not bad, on nights hes unbeatable and on others you may as well let a seventh skater play the whole time, id say the canes will drop down to the bottom five and probably pick ebert to solve their defensive problems, i mean theyre just a step above the islanders core, who after streit ive barely heard of them, ill go out on a lim and predict we win big tonight because the boys will be cranky after getting shutout on home ice by the bruins.

Carolina on paper imho are better than we are except on Defensive depth, most certainly stronger forward wise, and I still believe Ward is better than Price

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Carolina on paper imho are better than we are except on Defensive depth, most certainly stronger forward wise, and I still believe Ward is better than Price

I'd disagree. Carolina has a couple high end forwards that we can't match but our depth is definitely better up front IMO so that's probably a draw for me. Also, I wouldn't say Ward is better than Price, I do love Wardo but I'd say that's more likely a draw or IMO a slight edge to Carey. Also, we're much better coached. Our system is a lot stronger than Carolina's.

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I'd disagree. Carolina has a couple high end forwards that we can't match but our depth is definitely better up front IMO so that's probably a draw for me. Also, I wouldn't say Ward is better than Price, I do love Wardo but I'd say that's more likely a draw or IMO a slight edge to Carey. Also, we're much better coached. Our system is a lot stronger than Carolina's.

Agreed, Roy. We don't have a Staal, but I'll take Plekanec and Pacman over the rest of their group, even Skinner. Our forward depth is one of our advantages this year, and it's one of the reasons we've been able to stay in the hunt despite countless injuries.

Both teams have fairly patchwork D's, I don't know if I'd say anyone has the advantage with both Markov and possibly Pitkanen out. But in my opinion, Carey is already a better goalie than Ward. I think Ward's a bit underrated because he plays on what amounts to a pretty average team (at best), but Carey's been better the past season and a bit.

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