National Hockey League Previews from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, December 4th
(All times Eastern)
MONTREAL CANADIENS (16-9-3) AT NEW JERSEY DEVILS (11-12-5), 7 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The surging Montreal Canadiens will try to complete a
home-and-home sweep when they visit the New Jersey Devils for Wednesday's
rematch at Prudential Center.
The Canadiens notched a 3-2 regulation win over the visiting Devils on Monday,
giving Montreal a 6-0-1 record over its past seven contests. The recent hot
stretch has pushed the Habs into a tie for second place in the Atlantic
Division, three points behind first-place Boston.
Montreal won its second game in a row in Monday's close decision against New
Jersey. Alex Galchenyuk scored the game-winner for the Habs when he gave the
hosts a 3-2 edge with 10:26 left in the third period.
After being benched for the third period for an undisciplined penalty in
Saturday's victory over Toronto, Galchenyuk earned a bit of redemption with
his game-winner on Monday. Alexei Emelin missed the net on a shot from the
middle, but Galchenyuk was there to steer the puck into the net on a broken
play to give the Canadiens the lead for good.
"I wasn't feeling low on Saturday, it happens, it's part of the game. I put it
behind me. I was definitely excited about this game. I wanted to play good and
was happy with that goal," said Galchenyuk.
Rene Bourque tallied a goal and an assist in the win, while David Desharnais
contributed two helpers. Max Pacioretty provided the other goal for Montreal
and Carey Price turned aside 27-of-29 shots to record the victory. Price was
particularly sharp in the opening period, when he held the Devils to just one
goal on 11 shots.
"We weren't ready to play in the first period. It could have been 4-0 for the
Devils, but Carey kept us in the game. We owe it to our goalies to step up
when they bail us out," said Pacioretty.
Price improved his career record against the Devils to 8-9-1 and he expects to
get the start again in Wednesday's finale. He has a solid 2.39 goals against
average and .916 save percentage in 18 career games versus New Jersey.
Cory Schneider will get the call for New Jersey tonight after Martin Brodeur
yielded three goals on 17 shots in Monday's setback. Schneider has never faced
Steve Bernier and Michael Ryder lit the lamp on Monday for New Jersey, which
had a two-game winning streak snapped in the opener of this two-game series.
"We played well at the start. We missed a couple of open-netters. Their
defensemen made a couple of good plays and at the end that is what made the
difference," said Brodeur after Monday's loss.
Devils forward Adam Henrique left the opener of the home-and-home set with a
lower-body injury and is questionable for Wednesday's clash. Henrique is tied
for second on New Jersey with six goals this season.
The Canadiens have won three of the past four meetings against New Jersey
overall, but the Devils have claimed two of the past three encounters in
Montreal has a 7-4-1 road record this season, while the Devils are 5-4-2 as
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (12-13-2) AT DETROIT RED WINGS (14-7-7), 8 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The streaking Detroit Red Wings take aim at fifth
consecutive victory when they host the Philadelphia Flyers in Wednesday's
battle at Joe Louis Arena.
The Red Wings were mired in a seven-game losing streak from Nov. 4-19, but
they've since won five of six tilts. Detroit has posted wins in each of its
last four outings to match a season-high winning streak, but the club will
have to get by without its two best offensive players if it wants to make it
five straight on Wednesday.
Detroit posted all four of its wins during the current hot streak without
Pavel Datsyuk in the lineup and the star forward is expected to miss a fifth
straight test tonight due to a concussion suffered on Nov. 23. Then, on
Tuesday, the Red Wings announced that Henrik Zetterberg is joining Datsyuk on
the shelf as the Swedish centerman is expected to miss at least the next two
weeks with a herniated disc in his back.
Zetterberg is leading Detroit in scoring this season with 30 points on 11
goals and 19 assists. Datsyuk, meanwhile, is first in goals (12) and second in
Even without Datsyuk and Zetterberg in the lineup, the Red Wings have a
considerable amount of series history going in their favor on Wednesday.
Detroit is 16-1-0 with two ties in its last 19 regular-season home games
against Philadelphia and has taken two of three and nine of the past 15
The Flyers visited Detroit earlier this season and were handed a 5-2 setback.
Zetterberg scored twice in the third period, while Datsyuk and Niklas Kronwall
each added a goal and two helpers in the win.
Detroit is coming off Sunday's emotional road win in Ottawa, as Drew Miller
scored twice to help the Red Wings record a 4-2 decision in Daniel
Alfredsson's long-awaited return to his former hockey home. A former Ottawa
captain, Alfredsson spent his first 17 seasons as a member of the Senators
before leaving Canada's capital to sign a free-agent deal with Detroit this
Alfredsson picked up an assist and an empty-net goal in 16:33 of playing time
Sunday in front of a sellout crowd, which gave him a standing ovation during a
pre-game video tribute.
"The result makes it a lot sweeter," Alfredsson said. "But if we would have
lost, for me personally, I think it would still have been a night I'll always
Alfredsson was held off the scoreboard in his first game against the Sens, a
6-1 loss at Joe Louis Arena on Oct. 23. An injury then caused him to miss
another 4-2 home defeat against the Sens on Nov. 23.
Johan Franzen also lit the lamp on Sunday and Jonas Gustavsson made 30 saves
to record the win.
Jimmy Howard is expected to get the call in net for Detroit on Wednesday. He
is 1-1-0 with a 3.00 goals against average in two career games against the
Philadelphia will try to bounce back tonight after having a two-game win
streak halted in Monday's shutout loss at Minnesota. It marked the third time
the Flyers were blanked this season and the first time since a 3-0 setback
against New Jersey on Nov. 7.
Josh Harding made 21 saves to subdue the Flyers' offense on Monday, while
Jason Pominville and Charlie Coyle scored 57 seconds apart in the third period
to account for the 2-0 margin.
Ray Emery finished with 19 saves for Philadelphia, which has split its first
two stops on a six-game road trip. The Flyers fell to 5-6-2 as the road team
"Their game plan is to limit chances against. It's kind of like a New Jersey-
type game, where you just got to stay patient with them and not give them
anything," Emery said.
The Flyers played Monday without forward Vincent Lecavalier, who is dealing
with back spasms and could sit out a second straight tilt tonight. Lecavalier
is in his first season with Philadelphia and the former longtime Tampa Bay
Lightning star is leading the Flyers with nine goals.
Steve Mason expects to start in net for Philadelphia on Wednesday. The former
Columbus netminder has played in 20 career games -- all starts -- against
Detroit and is 8-10-2 with a 2.84 GAA in those outings.
PHOENIX COYOTES (16-7-4) AT CALGARY FLAMES (9-13-4), 10 P.M.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Coyotes will try to maintain their scoring
touch when they play on consecutive nights in Wednesday's road test against
the Calgary Flames.
Phoenix began a four-game trip in impressive fashion on Tuesday, as the
Coyotes slammed the Edmonton Oilers, 6-2, at Rexall Place. Mikkel Boedker and
Mike Ribeiro each had one goal and two assists to help Phoenix match its
highest goal output of the season. The Coyotes also scored six times in a 6-3
triumph over visiting Tampa Bay on Nov. 16, but then lost three of their next
four games before Tuesday's rout in Edmonton.
Radim Vrbata, Shane Doan and David Moss each added one goal and an assist for
the Coyotes and Keith Yandle also lit the lamp. Mike Smith stopped 31-of-33
shots in the victory after yielding four goals on 35 shots in Saturday's 5-2
home loss to Chicago.
"Obviously after the Chicago game, we wanted to make sure we came out and
played more to our identity, especially on the road," said Coyotes coach Dave
Tippett. "We're starting a tough trip, we wanted to come in and play well
tonight. I thought for the most part, we did a lot of good things."
Coyotes backup goaltender Thomas Greiss could give Smith a rest tonight by
getting the start in the second game on back-to-back nights. Greiss has one
career appearance against Calgary, as he took the loss for San Jose in a 4-1
setback on March 6 of last season.
Phoenix is 7-5-2 on the road this season and will try to win its third
straight as the guest in tonight's clash at the Saddledome. The Coyotes will
continue this swing with Friday's outing in Vancouver before completing the
trip Tuesday in Colorado.
The Flames recently halted a two-game slide with Saturday's road victory over
Los Angeles, giving Calgary its third win in six games after suffering through
an 0-5-1 drought from Nov. 5-16.
Mike Cammalleri's backhander with 23 seconds left lifted the Flames to a 2-1
win over the Kings on Saturday. Cammalleri took a pass from Mikael Backlund in
front of the net and managed to shovel a backhander past Ben Scrivens as he
fell to the ice. Flames rookie goaltender Karri Ramo was able to hold strong
the rest of the way to seal the win.
Blair Jones also scored and Ramo made 21 saves in the win, which came with
many of the fathers of the Flames' players in attendance at the Staples
"To get the win was special. We wanted to get a big one for them (the fathers)
tonight, and against a good team," Cammalleri said.
Calgary will try to make it two wins in a row on Wednesday, but the club
hasn't been able to string together consecutive victories since beating
Montreal and New Jersey on Oct. 9 and 11, respectively. That two-game stretch
still stands as the Flames' only winning streak of the season.
There's a chance Mark Giordano could help the Flames secure a second straight
win on Wednesday, as the defenseman nears his return from a broken ankle.
Giordano has missed the last 18 games since suffering the injury on Oct. 21 in
Los Angeles, but returned to practice recently and expects to be a game-time
"Gio looked very good and I asked him after practice and he had zero pain,"
Flames coach Bob Hartley said of Giordano after Tuesday's practice. "He's very
close. Tomorrow, he'll be re-evaluated by the doctor and if the medical staff
gives us the green light, well, he could be a strong possibility."
Despite playing in only eight games in 2013-14, Giordano still ranks third in
scoring among Calgary defensemen this season with nine points on two goals and
Beginning with tonight's tilt, the Flames are playing two straight and four of
their next five games at home. Calgary is 4-5-3 at the Saddledome this season.
Phoenix recorded a 4-2 home win against the Flames on Oct. 22, but Calgary has
claimed four of the past six encounters in this series overall and three
straight at the Saddledome.
12/04 11:00:17 ET