HURRICANES (26-34-9) @ CANADIENS (44-20-7)
Back from their most recent three-game road trip, the Canadiens return to the Bell Centre to host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.
The Hurricanes arrive in Montreal ranked 26th in the NHL with just 61 points in the standings, providing Michel Therrien’s troops with an ideal opportunity to win back-to-back games for the first time this month. The Habs defeated the Panthers 3-2 most recently in Sunrise on Tuesday.
Montreal last won consecutive games at the end of February, stringing together four in a row between February 21 and 28.
Carey Price will be back in goal opposite the visiting Canes following an impressive outing by Dustin Tokarski in Florida. Tokarski made 21 saves in the third period alone on Tuesday to earn his first win since January 17 – and sixth of the season – against the Panthers.
Price meanwhile can set a new personal best with a 39th win this season.
Aside from in goal, Therrien has not confirmed whether any other changes will be made to the rest of the lineup on Thursday.
On the other end of the ice, Anton Khudobin will make a third-straight start for Carolina after giving up just two goals in each of his last two starts. On Tuesday, the Hurricanes fell 2-1 to Andrew Hammond and the Ottawa Senators in overtime.
Captain Eric Staal for his part will be a player to watch among the visitors. Despite an average 2014-15 season, Staal has nevertheless registered 38 points in as many games against the Canadiens over the course of his career.
The Habs have won both games against Carolina this season by a combined score of 7-2. On December 16, Alex Galchenyuk notably scored his first career hat trick opposite the Canes in a 4-1 win at the Bell Centre.