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Game Preview: Canadiens @ Red Wings

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANADIENS (36-15-5) @ RED WINGS (31-13-10)

The Canadiens will try to up their lead over the Detroit Red Wings in the Eastern Conference standings on Monday night when they battle their Original Six rivals in Michigan.

Four points separate the two teams. The Canadiens sit first with 76 points, while the Red Wings are third with 72 points on the year. For their part, the Tampa Bay Lightning sit in second spot. They will be in action against the Los Angeles Kings. Tampa Bay boasts the same number of points as the Canadiens, but Michel Therrien’s troops have three games in hand and one less victory as well.

Monday night’s tilt will mark the third meeting between the two teams. On October 21, David Desharnais secured an overtime victory for the Canadiens at the Bell Centre. Then, one month later, Dustin Tokarski paced his teammates to a 4-1 win at Joe Louis Arena.

Sergei Gonchar did not make the trip with the team. The veteran rearguard left Saturday night’s game against the Maple Leafs after suffering an upper-body injury on a hit from David Clarkson.

In Gonchar’s absence, the Canadiens recalled Greg Pateryn from the Hamilton Bulldogs. It is unlikely that Peteryn will suit up against Detroit. He was the seventh defenseman at the morning skate.

Tom Gilbert, who was a healthy scratch on Saturday, should return to active duty alongside Alexei Emelin. The rest of the lineup should remain the same as the one that bested the Maple Leafs 2-1 in a shootout over the weekend.

Carey Price, who has given up just three goals in his last three starts, will get the start in goal for the Canadiens.

The Red Wings will counter with Jimmy Howard, who will be making his second start since returning from injury. After being sidelined for a month, Howard gave up four goals on 38 shots through 65 minutes of play against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, before conceding the only shootout goal in a 5-4 defeat.

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