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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, March 3rd (All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (34-21-7) at Los Angeles Kings (34-22-6), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings try to extend a four-game winning streak on Monday night as they welcome the Montreal Canadiens to Staples Center.
The Kings have won all three of their games following the Olympic break and are on their longest winning streak since a six-game run from Dec. 2-14. Los Angeles sits comfortably in third place in the Pacific Division.
A 3-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday kept the Kings trending in the right direction. Alec Martinez scored the go-ahead goal on the power play in the third period, ripping a slap shot from the high slot.
"It was a power play and we were telling the defenseman to shoot," said Kings coach Darryl Sutter. "Drew (Doughty) and Slava (Voynov) did a good job prior, then Marty (Martinez) went out and did it again."
Mike Richards scored, Justin Williams had an empty-net tally and Jonathan Quick made 24 saves in the win.
Monday held the possibility of being an Olympic rematch of goaltenders from Canada's 1-0 semifinals win over the United States. Montreal's Carey Price got the better of Quick in that game, but Price has missed all three of the Canadiens' contests following the Winter Games.
Price, who helped backstop Canada to a gold medal, aggravated a lower-body injury in Sochi. He is expected to travel with the Canadiens on their four- game road trip that begins tonight, but it is unknown when he will return to action.
Peter Budaj has backstopped Montreal to an overtime loss and a pair of victories in Price's place and stopped 22 shots in Saturday's 4-3 overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Max Pacioretty scored his second goal of the game with 1:32 to play in overtime on a power play after Toronto netminder Jonathan Bernier was whistled for delay of game for coming well out of his crease to cover the puck.
After winning the left-circle faceoff, Montreal set up for a blast from P.K. Subban in the high slot. He broke his stick on the shot and didn't get all of the puck, but it went over to the left side where Andrei Markov centered it for Pacioretty, who lasered a wrister past Bernier for the win.
"I got a bit of a bounce," said Pacioretty. "We caught a guy sleeping there and Markov put it through a screen and that was it."
Subban finished with a goal and an assist and Markov had three assists, while Alex Galchenyuk also scored for the Canadiens.
The Habs, who are six points behind Boston for first place in the Atlantic Division, had won seven straight over the Kings in regulation before a 6-0 setback at home on Dec. 10. Los Angeles backup netminder Martin Jones posted 31 saves and six different Kings skaters scored.
Montreal has won four in a row in Los Angeles, where it hasn't lost since March 8, 2003.
03/03 10:27:03 ET