NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, November 1st (All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (8-5-0) at Minnesota Wild (6-4-3), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Canadiens aim to extend their impressive start on the road this season as they visit the Minnesota Wild for Friday night's encounter.
The Canadiens have won four of five on the road this season, including a 2-0 triumph over the New York Rangers on Monday. They then made it two straight wins and three in the past four games by beating the visiting Dallas Stars the following night.
Carey Price made 26 saves, while both Rene Bourque and Michael Bournival had goals. Raphael Diaz notched assists on both tallies.
"We've been pretty good at defense lately," said Price. "That makes my job a lot easier if they can block shots and keep the rebounds away. It was a grinding game and we kept things simple."
The rookie Bournival has also been pretty good as of late, notching three goals and four assists over his last seven games.
Travis Moen missed his second game in a row after he took a puck to the face and suffered a facial fracture in last Saturday's loss to San Jose. He joined an injured list that includes Max Pacioretty, Daniel Briere, Brandon Prust and Alexei Emelin, though George Parros is slated to return tonight for the first time since suffering a scary concussion in a season-opening loss to Toronto on Oct. 1.
Parros was engaged in a fight with Colton Orr and landed face-first on the ice at the conclusion of the scrap. He had to taken off the ice on a stretcher and was transported to a local hospital.
Montreal assigned forward Patrick Holland to the American Hockey League on Tuesday, signaling a possible return for Parros.
Pacioretty, meanwhile, could also be back in the lineup this weekend. Montreal will visit Colorado on Saturday.
Price is in line to start tonight and is 2-1-0 with a 2.63 goals against average in three career meetings with the Wild. Peter Budaj, a former Avalanche netminder, is likely to get the start tomorrow.
The Wild try to avoid a second loss in a row tonight after having a three-game win streak snapped with a home loss on Monday versus Chicago. Minnesota had bested the Blackhawks on the road Saturday, but lost a 5-1 decision two days later.
Jason Pominville's seventh goal of the season with 8:33 left in the second period made it a 1-1 game before the Blackhawks' offense got rolling. Niklas Backstrom ended up yielding five goals on 28 shots.
"It was clear to me our execution wasn't as good as it needs to be against that team," Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo said. "You need to make plays."
Minnesota lost the opener of a four-game homestand and lost in regulation for the first time this season on home ice (4-1-2).
Yeo will likely alter his lineup before tonight's game as defensemen Keith Ballard and Jonas Brodin, as well as forward Charlie Coyle could all return from injury.
Ballard and Coyle are both probable for tonight, while Brodin is questionable after having been out since suffering a broken cheekbone on Oct. 22 when he was hit in the face by a puck.
Ballard has missed seven straight with a concussion, while Coyle has missed 11 in a row with a sprained knee.
The Canadiens have won two straight over the Wild and are 5-1-1 in the past seven meetings. They won a 5-4 shootout at home in the most recent encounter on March 1, 2012.
Montreal is also 3-1-1 all-time versus the Wild in Minnesota, winning the past two.
Backstrom is 1-1-0 with a 3.10 GAA in four career meetings with the Habs, including three starts.
11/01 10:39:32 ET