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Game Preview: Oilers @ Canadiens

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

OILERS (15-31-9) @ CANADIENS (35-15-3)

The Canadiens will try to make it four in a row on Thursday when the team hosts the visiting Edmonton Oilers at the Bell Centre.

Coming off a trio of wins against New Jersey, Boston and Philadelphia since Saturday, a win against Edmonton would mark the fourth time the Habs win four straight this season.

The Oilers arrive in Montreal with the second-worst record in the NHL and without the services of star forward Taylor Hall, who will be sidelined for the next six weeks. Former Hab Benoit Pouliot is also questionable in his Montreal return.

Dustin Tokarski will be in goal for the Canadiens, making his first start since a 3-2 home loss to Arizona on February 1.

Tokarski faces the Oilers for a second time this season, having also been in goal when the Canadiens visited the Albertan capital earlier this season, falling 3-0 on the road.

Aside from the personnel change between the pipes, head coach Michel Therrien has confirmed that the rest of the lineup from Tuesday’s game against the Flyers will remain intact, with Manny Malhotra and Mike Weaver notably sitting out as scratches.

David Desharnais for his part is currently enjoying a five-game point streak, counting two goals and six assists over that span.

The Oilers have struggled once again this season, picking up just 15 wins and 39 points so far in 2014-15, mired in 29th place overall. The team’s 6-15-7 road record is the worst in the NHL.

With a 3-2 loss to the Islanders on Tuesday, the Oilers have now gone 5-5 over their last 10 games.

Goaltender Viktor Fasth, who has compiled a 3.31 goals against average and 0.889 save percentage this season will get the start for Edmonton at the Bell Centre.

A Montreal win combined with a Tampa Bay loss on Thursday would allow the Habs to retake the lead atop the East’s Atlantic Division.

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