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Posted On Sunday, 12.15.2013 / 5:39 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Huberdeau out; backup goalies start for Panthers, Canadiens

MONTREAL -- Jonathan Huberdeau missed the Florida Panthers game against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday with a foot injury.

Huberdeau took a shot off the foot but finished the Panthers' game Friday against the Washington Capitals, taking part in the shootout that gave Florida a 3-2 victory.

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Posted On Tuesday, 12.10.2013 / 2:38 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Kings' Doughty focused on outplaying Habs' Subban

MONTREAL -- In spite of the fact they practically never play each other, the game Tuesday between the Los Angeles Kings and Montreal Canadiens has a ton of interesting storylines.

Each team is on an extended roll, are playing well defensively and rely on a young, dynamic defenseman who eats a lot of minutes.

On that last point, Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said he sees it as his responsibility to outplay Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban.

"Even though it's a matchup between both teams," Doughty said, "in order for us to win I have to outplay P.K."

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Posted On Saturday, 12.07.2013 / 2:27 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sabres hope to surprise hot Canadiens

MONTREAL -- The Buffalo Sabres are hoping a game against the NHL's hottest team can help turn around their season.

No NHL team can match the Montreal Canadiens' 8-0-1 record over their past nine games, and the Sabres are hoping to put an end to that hot streak Saturday at Bell Centre.

With a 6-21-2 record through 29 games, the Sabres are on pace for just under 40 points in 82 games, which would be by far the lowest total since the introduction of the shootout in 2005-06. The 2006-07 Philadelphia Flyers had 56 points.

"Well, we're definitely not proud of it, to be honest with you," Sabres captain Steve Ott said. "We're not happy with our record, but our process needs to continue to work. No one has packed it in for the season. We have a lot of hockey games left and we want to continue to make a stand.

"A game like tonight is a perfect instance when you have a hot team that's 8-0-1 in the last little while. There's no better feeling than a team like us coming in and hopefully giving them a good show and maybe sneaking in a win."

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Posted On Thursday, 12.05.2013 / 2:14 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canadiens, Bruins meet for division lead again

MONTREAL -- It has taken two months, but the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins will finally resume their storied rivalry at Bell Centre on Thursday, and it again will be a game when first place in their division will be on the line.

The Canadiens have gone 7-0-1 in their past eight games to close within a point of the Atlantic Division-leading Bruins, with Boston holding two games in hand. A win in regulation time would give the Canadiens the division lead for the first time this season, though it would be tenuous because of the two extra games Montreal has played.

The game Thursday marks the fifth straight between the Canadiens and Bruins when first place in the division was at stake, with each of their four games last season being a meeting at the summit of what was then the Northeast Division.

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Posted On Monday, 12.02.2013 / 1:06 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canadiens' focus on defensive play has paid off

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The New Jersey Devils have historically been a team known for their ability to slow the play down and shut down the opposition, no matter their offensive strength.

But of late, it is their opponents Monday night, the Montreal Canadiens, who have been the defensive juggernauts.

The Canadiens enter the game Monday at Bell Centre having allowed two goals or fewer in 10 straight games, riding a 7-1-2 record over that span.

"We're focusing on playing solid defensively and taking time and space away. It's the same thing with any team," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "Right now we have a healthy lineup and there's a healthy internal competition. I think it's good. But we want to be a team that dictates the game, and this is what we've been doing. The guys, with their work ethic, are doing a good job at it."

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.12.2013 / 6:00 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Briere returning to Canadiens lineup

MONTREAL -- While the Tampa Bay Lightning are learning to adjust to life without Steven Stamkos, the Montreal Canadiens will be welcoming back a key forward when the two teams face each other at Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Daniel Briere will return to the lineup after missing 10 games recovering from a concussion, and he will be doing so at his natural position of center for the first time this season.

Briere will center a line with rookie Michael Bournival and Rene Bourque, taking the spot of David Desharnais, who will be a healthy scratch for the second time in a week.

"It's never easy to be out of the lineup," Briere said Tuesday. "You kind of feel like you are letting down your teammates, especially when things aren't going well. We had a bit of a bad streak where we lost four games in a row, and you feel a bit like it's your fault because you're out."

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Posted On Sunday, 11.10.2013 / 5:43 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Islanders to face Canadiens without Vanek

MONTREAL – Prized acquisition Thomas Vanek (upper body) is out of the New York Islanders' lineup against the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday.

Vanek was hurt early in the first period of a 5-2 loss at the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday after he fell awkwardly in a collision with Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky 23 seconds into his first shift of the game. He will be reevaluated after the team returns to Long Island.

"He's pretty sore," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano.

Vanek’s injury allows Brock Nelson to enter the lineup on the Islanders' top line with John Tavaresand Kyle Okposo.

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Posted On Tuesday, 11.05.2013 / 2:05 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Canadiens' Desharnais healthy scratch against Blues

MONTREAL -- A situation that has been brewing all season came to a head Tuesday with Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien making center David Desharnais a healthy scratch for their game against the St. Louis Blues.

Desharnais has one assist in 15 games this season, and dating back to last season he has one goal and eight assists in his past 32 regular season and Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"It's never easy to make a decision like this," Therrien said. "The principle is to always make it so a player is at his best, but when we don't see results decisions need to be made."

Desharnais, 27, is in the first of a four-year, $14 million contract he signed in March, one he earned with a 60-point season in 2011-12. But last season was a down year for him with 28 points in 48 games, and he is in the midst of the worst slump of his NHL career.

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Posted On Tuesday, 10.29.2013 / 1:44 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Stars' Chiasson eager to play in hometown

MONTREAL -- Dallas Stars rookie Alex Chiasson has had a near historic number of highlights over the course of his short NHL career, but the one to come Tuesday at Bell Centre may top them all.

The Montreal-area native who has begun his NHL career with 11 goals in 18 games will play his first game in his hometown, with more than 50 family and friends expected to attend the game against the Montreal Canadiens.

"When we start the season there are always a couple of dates we circle, and tonight's going to be a memorable night for me," Chiasson said. "When the plane landed last night I was a little nervous. I didn't sleep much last night."

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Posted On Saturday, 10.26.2013 / 7:21 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor / - 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

Sharks' Wingels good to go against Canadiens

MONTREAL - San Jose Sharks forward Tommy Wingels was in the lineup against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Wingels left the Sharks' 2-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Thursday in the first period after taking a hit in the corner from Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara.

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Quote of the Day

I was surprised. I knew I got it. It's tough. You never know how hard it is until it registers on the gun. I got pretty much all I could into and you just hope for the best.

— Nashville Predators defenseman Shea Weber after winning the AMP NHL Hardest Shot event at the 2015 Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition