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Game Preview: Red Wings @ Canadiens

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

CANADIENS (48-22-10) VS. RED WINGS (42-25-13)

The Canadiens close out their regular 2014-15 home season on Thursday against Detroit.

Aiming to head into the playoffs with momentum on their side, Michel Therrien’s troops will be looking for a second-straight win on Thursday following Sunday’s convincing 4-1 decision in Florida.

Tomas Plekanec notably scored his 200th career goal in the weekend effort, while Carey Price equaled a team record with his 42nd win of the season. Brendan Gallagher, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau and Devante Smith-Pelly were the other Montreal goalscorers, the latter scoring his first in a Habs uniform.

Despite the win, the team also suffered the loss of forward Max Pacioretty, who left the game and did not return after crashing hard into the boards early in the first.

With 97 points in the standings, the Red Wings meanwhile are still in the thick of a battle for one of the East’s four remaining playoff spots. Currently sitting third in the Atlantic Division, Detroit is just two points ahead of both Boston and Ottawa, with two games left to play. A win in Montreal however would clinch a playoff spot for Mike Babcock’s squad.

Meeting for the fourth time this season, the Habs have been perfect against the Wings so far in 2014-15, scoring eight goals while allowing just two over a trio of wins. Plekanec for his part has racked up two goals and three assists over that span.

Carey Price will be back in goal for the Canadiens on Thursday, and could set a new team record with a 43rd win this season. The All-Star netminder has allowed just one goal to the Red Wings over the current campaign, stopping 52 of 53 shots he’s faced across his two previous games versus Detroit. He’ll face Jimmy Howard on the opposite end of the ice.

Up front, Pacioretty will be out of the lineup with the upper body injury suffered in Sunrise.

Erik Cole, for his part, will not be in uniform for the Red Wings. Acquired at the NHL trade deadline, the former Hab is out for the season with a spine contusion, although Justin Abdelkader should be back in the lineup after missing the last two games with a hand injury.

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