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Game preview: Canadiens vs. Canucks

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANUCKS (7-6-5) @ CANADIENS (13-2-2)

TV : RDS & Sportsnet – 7:30 PM

The Canadiens host the Vancouver Canucks on Monday night at the Bell Centre.

Monday’s game is the penultimate stop on the Canucks’ current seven-game road swing that began on November 7 in Buffalo and will end on November 18 in Winnipeg. In the first five games of the road trip, Willie Desjardins’ troops have gone 1-3-1.

In their most recent game, the Canucks lost 4-2 in Toronto, facing a reinvigorated James Reimer, who made 45 saves. The Canucks managed to send 24 pucks on net in the third period alone, but in the end, only got two goals by Reimer: one by Jannik Hansen and another from Alexandre Burrows.

For the Canadiens, Michel Therrien’s team will look to rebound from a 6-1 loss at the hands of the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night. The Canadiens had 18 shots on Reto Berra in the first period alone, but still went to the locker room down 3 goals. Brendan Gallagher was the only Canadiens scorer, solving the Swiss netminder halfway through the second period. In total, the Canadiens managed 40 shots on the Avalanche goal. Dustin Tokarski took over for Mike Condon after the second period.

Those who were impatiently waiting for Brandon Prust’s return to Montreal will need to wait a little bit longer, as the feisty forward is currently day-to-day with an injury. He is however practicing with the team. Defenseman Luca Sbisa will also be missing from tonight’s game, as he is nursing an injury to his left ankle. The Canucks will also be down their fourth leading scorer when they take on the Canadiens, as Alex Burrows, a Pincourt native, had to leave Toronto to return to Vancouver for personal reasons. However, coach Desjardins let it be known that it was a case of ‘’good news’’ for the Burrows family.

On the Canadiens’ front, Alexei Emelin missed the team’ last game and did not take part in Sunday’s practice at the Bell Sports Complex. Nathan Beaulieu took Emelin’s spot next to Jeff Petry, and Greg Pateryn completed a duo with Tom Gilbert. On the forwards’ side, Alexander Semin once again formed a line with Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk during Sunday’s practice; the Russian forward had made a return to Michel Therrien’s line-up on Saturday against the Avalanche.

Monday’s matchup will be the second and last game between the Canucks and the Canadiens this season. In their last meeting, the Canucks held the upper hand as they handed the Canadiens their first regulation loss of the season by the score of 5-1 at the Rogers Center. The Canadiens have history on their side tonight as they haven’t lost to the Canucks in regulation since January 16th, 2007.

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