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Game #58 ~ Montreal Canadiens @ Colorado Avalanche. Wednesday, February 17th, 2016.


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Wednesday, February 17th, 2016.

CANADIENS (27-26-4) at AVALANCHE (29-26-4)
TV: 8 p.m. ET; ALT, RDS, SN, NHL.TV


Season series: The Colorado Avalanche defeated the Montreal Canadiens 6-1 on Nov. 14 in Montreal. Forward Nathan McKinnon scored two goals 13 seconds apart in the first period and had an assist for Colorado. Linemates Mikhail Grigorenko and Matt Duchene each had a goal and two assists. Forwards John Mitchell and Blake Comeau scored the other Colorado goals. Forward Brendan Gallagher scored for Montreal.

Canadiens team scope: Center David Desharnais, bothered by a lower-body injury sustained Monday in a 6-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes, will not play. With Desharnais not at practice, Lars Eller skated at center between Max Pacioretty and Sven Andrighetto. Forward Lucas Lessio was activated off injured reserve. Goaltender Ben Scrivens, who was pulled from a 6-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres on Friday after allowing three goals on eight shots, will start. Scrivens had won three straight games. Montreal lost the first two games of this three-game road trip.

Avalanche team scope: Forward Jack Skille will return after missing five games with a concussion. Skille will play right wing with center McKinnon and left wing Alex Tanguay, according to the Denver Post. Goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who was pulled after allowing two goals in the first 4:42 of a 4-1 loss to Buffalo on Sunday, will start. After two months playing right wing, Duchene will move back to center between left wing Grigorenko and right wing Jarome Iginla. "I think as a team we've been stale offensively in the last 20 games," Duchene told the Post. "If you look at our goals per game, it's not very good. We haven't been scoring the same and maybe mixing something up will help." Colorado returns from a three-game road trip for this home game, then goes on the road for two games. The Avalanche, who hold the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference, are 8-8-1 in the past 17 games but 2-4-1 since the All-Star break.

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At this point in time, I seriously don't think the players care anymore. MT can slam them for all he wants in post-game comments, but it's not going to motivate them.

After all, they've got used to losing by now. To sum up: whatever.... 2 points donated to Patrick Roy.

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