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Game Preview: Canadiens @ Wild

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANADIENS (17-7-2) @ WILD (13-9-1)

An emotional Canadiens squad visits the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after learning that team ambassador Jean Béliveau has passed away. Michel Therrien’s men will be looking for a second consecutive win this week in a game which general manager Marc Bergevin has already dedicated to the former Habs legend.

Having previously bested the Wild this season during Guy Lapointe’s jersey retirement night on November 8 at the Bell Centre, the Habs now have the opportunity to sweep the season series in Minnesota following a 4-1 effort in which Lars Eller, Jiri Sekac and Brandon Prust each registered their names twice on the score sheet.

Coming off a 4-3 win in Colorado on Monday, the Habs will try to stay perfect on the second stop of a four-game road trip which continues in Chicago on Friday and Dallas on Saturday.

Therrien hasn’t revealed whether any changes will be made to the roster in Minnesota after opting for Tom Gilbert in place of Bryan Allen earlier this week in Denver.

The Canadiens bench boss has confirmed, meanwhile, that although Michael Bournival is nearing his on-ice return, the 22-year-old forward will not be in the line-up on Wednesday.

In goal, Carey Price -- who currently leads his peers in All-Star voting -- will make his 21st start for the Habs this season.

Following an inconsistent start to the year, Minnesota is fifth in the NHL’s competitive Central Division, after going 7-6-1 during the month of November.

The Wild are also coming off a 3-2 shootout loss to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, marking a rare home defeat for a team which has otherwise registered a 9-2-1 record when playing from the familiar confines of the Xcel Energy Center this season.

Likewise, currently ranked 29th in the NHL with a power play efficiency of just 9.6%, the Wild are nevertheless a respectable 19,4% with the man advantage when playing at home.

Darcy Kuemper, who shares an identical 2.37 GAA with Carey Price, gets his second start against the Habs on Wednesday.

Video tribute to Jean Béliveau
Jean Béliveau in images
Love for a legend
Jean Béliveau passes away at the age of 83
Keeping it local

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