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Game Preview: Canadiens vs Coyotes

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

COYOTES (9-8-1) @ CANADIENS (14-3-2)

TV: RDS, CITYM – 7:30 p.m.

The Arizona Coyotes are in town looking to snap a two-game losing streak on Thursday night against the Canadiens.

The Coyotes, who kicked off a four-game road trip on Saturday night in Columbus, suffered back-to-back 5-2 defeats against the Blue Jackets and Islanders in the first two contests of the trip.

Mike Smith is expected to get the start between the pipes for the Coyotes’ who skated at the Bell Centre on Tuesday. The Kingston, Ontario native has a 3-2-3 record in eight career starts against the Canadiens.

In their last contest, the Coyotes found themselves down 4-0 to the Islanders heading into the third period. Though Arizona stormed back to pull within two goals of tying the game, Islanders’ captain John Tavares sealed the victory for New York with an empty netter. A silver lining in the Coyotes’ three-game losing streak is Oliver Ekman-Larsson, who is presently riding a six-game scoring streak.

In the Canadiens’ camp, Carey Price returned to practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard Wednesday morning, as the Habs’ netminder continues his hard work to make his return to the lineup.

The lines used by coach Therrien at practice on Wednesday indicate that Torrey Mitchell will take Alexander Semin’s spot on the right wing alongside Alex Galchenyuk and Lars Eller. As a result, Brian Flynn slots in at center between Paul Byron and Devante Smith-Pelly on the Canadiens checking line.

Mike Condon is expected to get his ninth straight start in the Canadiens’ crease Thursday night at the Bell Centre. The former Princeton University Tiger is 7-1-2 through the first 10 games of his young career.

In their most recent game Monday night against Vancouver, the Canadiens erased a three-goal deficit against the Canucks before David Desharnais scored the eventual game-winning-goal in overtime.

Last season, the Canadiens and Coyotes split the two-game season series with each club coming away with a victory on the road.

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