NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, February 18th (All times Eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (8-4-1) at Montreal Canadiens (9-4-1), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of teams in search of a fourth straight victory get together in Montreal on Monday night when the Canadiens play host to the Carolina Hurricanes.
The Canadiens have responded with a winning streak after suffering an embarrassing 6-0 loss on home ice to the rival Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 9. That was the third setback in a row for the Habs, but they bounced back with a pair of post-regulation wins on the road before notching a 4-1 home victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.
Brendan Gallagher and Rene Bourque both had a goal and an assist, while David Desharnais and Tomas Plekanec added goals. Peter Budaj finished with 18 saves in place of a flu-stricken Carey Price.
"I thought we did a better job of protecting the front of our net and around our net," said Montreal defenseman Josh Gorges. "They didn't get too many second or third opportunities, which is really big for us."
While the Canadiens will take the victory, they did limp out of their arena as both Gallagher and Max Pacioretty (upper body) did not finish the game due to injury. Colby Armstrong also took a puck to the face and exited early, while defenseman Alexei Emelin seemed hobbled by a lower body issue but remained in the game.
Gallagher seemed to come out the worst of the bunch as the Canadiens said on Sunday that he suffered a concussion and will not play against the Hurricanes.
"We're going to follow the protocol," said Montreal coach Michel Therrien at Sunday's post-practice press conference. "He felt much better this morning than last night."
Pacioretty, Emelin and Armstrong all practiced on Sunday, but Price and defenseman P.K. Subban did not due to illness. The latter two could still be in uniform tonight, but Price is likely to serve again as the backup.
Montreal will try to shake off the bumps and bruises in a meeting with the Hurricanes, who have gone 5-0-1 in their past six and are coming off a 3-1 win over the Maple Leafs on Thursday.
Blueliner Joe Corvo had a goal and an assist, while Jussi Jokinen and Jordan Staal added scores. Dan Ellis made 22 saves.
"It's tough every night out there," said Staal. "Getting two points is hard in this league and with this short season every point counts even more. We've been playing real well of late and hope to keep it going."
Corvo has logged two goals and five points in four games since being a healthy scratch for three in a row.
Eric Staal, meanwhile, picked up an assist on Corvo's goal to extend his point streak to 11 straight games, the longest in the NHL this season. The elder Staal has notched eight goals and nine assists over the run, which is one game shy of his career-best 12-game burst from Feb. 8-March 6, 2012. That streak is also the longest for the franchise since relocating from Hartford.
Carolina picked up the home victory last week after returning from a six-game road trip. It is 5-2-1 as the guest this season.
Defenseman Tim Gleason and Joni Pitkanen both sat out Thursday's win with lower body injuries and were not expected to travel to Montreal, nor was forward Jeff Skinner due to an upper body injury.
The 20-year-old is second on the club with 14 points, including seven goals.
The Hurricanes and Habs split four meetings last season. Monday is the first of three scheduled encounters this year.
02/18 10:21:54 ET