The Carolina Hurricanes
will look to prevent the Montreal Canadiens
from establishing a new season high with a fifth straight win when the two clubs meet tonight at Bell Centre.
The game marks the return of Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller
and defenseman Jaroslav Spacek
to Montreal, while Canadiens defenseman Tomas Kaberle
will also be facing his former teammates for the first time since the trade involving he and Spacek on Dec. 9.
The Hurricanes come in on a nice roll of their own with a 6-2-4 record in their last 12 games, and aside from long-term casualties Brian Boucher
in goal and Joni Pitkanen
on defense, they are also arriving healthy.
The Canadiens' lineup for this game will be a lot of guesswork beyond starting goaltender Carey Price
, who will face Cam Ward
in the Hurricanes net.
A lower-body injury to Yannick Weber
and Travis Moen
re-aggravating an upper-body injury last week that had previously cost him five games led the Canadiens to call up Ryan White
and Ian Schultz
from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the AHL on Sunday evening.
White has missed the whole season recovering from hernia surgery in training camp, but he played three games in three days while on a conditioning stint in Hamilton and playing Monday would be his fourth game in as many days. Still, he appeared determined to go even though coach Randy Cunneyworth
called his status a game-time decision.
Schultz's status is the same after his surprise call-up left the Canadiens with 13 healthy forwards. The most likely scenario would see White return and Schultz left aside while one of Chris Campoli
or Raphael Diaz
would be scratched on defense. Or Cunneyworth could go with seven defensemen as he has for much of this winning streak and also scratch Aaron Palushaj
along with Schultz up front.
Frankly, all scenarios are equally possible for the Canadiens, so with that in mind here are the possible lineups for tonight's game:
- Eric Staal
- Jiri Tlusty
- Jeff Skinner
- Jerome Samson
- Brandon Sutter
- Patrick Dwyer
- Tim Brent
- Chad LaRose
- Bryan Allen
- Justin Faulk
- Jamie McBain
- David Desharnais
- Erik Cole
- Tomas Plekanec
- Rene Bourque
- Lars Eller
- Louis Leblanc
- Scott Gomez
- P.K. Subban
- Alexei Emelin
- Raphael Diaz