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Game Preview: Canadiens @ Coyotes

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANADIENS (41-18-6) @ COYOTES (21-37-7)

The Habs end their annual west coast road swing on Saturday in Arizona.

After dropping a pair of regulation decisions in San Jose and Anaheim on Monday and Wednesday, respectively, the Canadiens came back to salvage a point against the Kings on Thursday, ultimately falling 4-3 in a shootout in Los Angeles.

Trailing 2-0 after the opening period at the STAPLES Center, Michel Therrien’s troops scored three consecutive goals to take a 3-2 lead, before Marian Gaborik found the equalizer for L.A. in the third.

The three goal effort was an encouraging sign for the Habs despite the loss, after being held two a single goal in their previous two outings.

Aside from Carey Price’s return between the pipes in Arizona, Therrien has not confirmed any other changes to his lineup ahead of Saturday’s game against the Coyotes. Price is currently two wins shy of tying his personal-best 38 wins in a single season.

Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau and Manny Malhotra were the most recent scratches on Thursday, in addition to Sergei Gonchar, who gave up his spot to fellow veteran defenseman Mike Weaver.

The Coyotes for their part put an end to a 10-game losing streak on Thursday, notching a 3-2 shootout win over the visiting Vancouver Canucks. Dave Tippett’s squad currently sits 28th in the NHL with just 49 points in the standings.

Heading into a rebuild, Arizona GM Don Maloney traded away a number of veterans at Monday’s deadline, including defensemen Keith Yandle and Zbynek Michalek, who were dealt to New York and Saint Louis, respectively, in exchange for draft picks.

Antoine Vermette was also shipped to Chicago the week prior.

In their previous meeting this season, the Coyotes surprised the Habs with three unanswered goals in a 3-2 effort at the Bell Centre. Quebec born goaltender Louis Domingue notably earned his first-career NHL win in the February 1 outing.

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