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National Hockey League

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, December 31st (All times Eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (23-14-3) at Carolina Hurricanes (14-16-9), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The floundering Carolina Hurricanes will try to stop a five-game losing streak when they welcome the Montreal Canadiens for Tuesday's battle at PNC Arena.

The Hurricanes are in the midst of an 0-3-2 slump and have won only once over their last nine games (1-4-4). Carolina also has lost its last three games on home ice, falling to 7-8-5 in Raleigh this season.

Carolina last played on Sunday when it lost a 5-2 road decision in Toronto despite outshooting the Maple Leafs by a 43-27 margin.

Nathan Gerbe and Justin Faulk scored for the Hurricanes, and Cam Ward surrendered four goals on 26 shots to absorb the loss.

The struggling Hurricanes made a move to shake things up on Monday, sending forward Kevin Westgarth to the Calgary Flames in exchange for forward Greg Nemisz, a former first-round pick.

Westgarth, who is in his fifth NHL season, appeared in 12 games for the Hurricanes this season without recording a point. Nemisz has spent the first 32 games of this season at Abbotsford of the American Hockey League, racking up five goals and four assists.

A first-round pick (25th overall) of the Flames in 2008, the 23-year-old Nemisz has notched one assist in 15 games for Calgary since making his NHL debut on Mar. 23, 2011.

"Greg is a young player and a former first-round pick that we hope will continue to develop into a solid NHL player," said Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford.

Montreal, meanwhile, will try to bounce back from a loss tonight after getting dealt a 4-1 road defeat Sunday against the Florida Panthers. Brandon Prust netted the lone goal for Montreal, which had a pair of goals waved off. Peter Budaj allowed three goals on 24 shots in defeat.

"They had a really strong second period," said Budaj. "They were capitalizing on their chances. It's a little disappointing."

After the loss in Florida, the Habs fell to 2-2-0 on a six-game road trip that is set to end Thursday in Dallas.

Carey Price expects to get the start in net for Montreal tonight and is 8-5-1 with a 2.44 goals against average in 14 career games against the Hurricanes. Ward is 14-8-3 with a 2.70 GAA against Montreal in his career and he expects to be in net for Carolina.

Montreal has won three straight and five of the last seven encounters with the 'Canes, but the clubs have split the last four meetings in Raleigh.

12/31 11:04:35 ET