NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, December 21st
(All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (21-13-3) at Nashville Predators (16-16-3), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Canadiens hope to put their offensive
struggles to rest on Saturday night when they resume their road trip against
the Nashville Predators.
The Habs have lost four of their past six games and opened up a six-game swing
with Thursday's 5-1 setback to the St. Louis Blues.
Brendan Gallagher scored his first goal in 12 games, giving him 10 on the
season, and Carey Price allowed five scores on 29 shots faced.
The setback marked the fifth time in Montreal's past six games it has scored
one goal or fewer.
"We're making simple mistakes that we shouldn't be making," said Montreal
winger Brian Gionta. "We're not supporting each other. We're not backing each
other up and ... that's just not the way we need to be playing."
Montreal's offense also failed to come through in an earlier meeting with
Nashville, which picked up a 2-1 road victory back on Oct. 19. Gallagher had
the lone goal on that day and the Habs wasted Price's 35 saves.
Price remained winless in his career versus the Predators despite the solid
outing, falling to 0-3-0 with a 2.35 goals against average in three meetings.
Nashville, which got goals from defensemen Seth Jones and Shea Weber, is 3-0-1
in its past four versus Montreal and 3-1-2 with a tie all-time against the
franchise at home.
The Preds will try to bounce back from their seventh loss in 10 games, a 4-2
setback at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.
Craig Smith scored twice for Nashville, with each tally making it a one-goal
game, but Tampa Bay responded with a goal shortly after both times.
"They took some momentum away by scoring just after we did," Smith said. "They
are a good team, but so are we. They can do some good things and so can we.
They came out on top tonight and converted their chances."
Carter Hutton allowed four goals on just 14 shots before he was pulled in
favor of Marek Mazanec in the second period. Mazanec made 19 saves in the
Neither Hutton or Mazanec have ever faced the Canadiens. Injured goaltender
Pekka Rinne made 28 saves in the first meeting of the season.
12/21 11:08:07 ET