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Habs this week - Feb. 21, 2011

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
MONTREAL – This week, the Habs finish up their western road trip with a game against the Canucks Tuesday night before heading home to the Bell Centre to take on the Leafs and Hurricanes.

Canadiens @ Vancouver – Tuesday, February 22 @ 10:00 p.m.

Last Canadiens - Canucks game highlights
The Canadiens take on the best in the west – and the league – on Tuesday night, facing off against the NHL-leading Vancouver Canucks.

The western road swing hasn’t been kind to the Habs so far, losing in Edmonton on Thursday before dropping a cold one against the Flames in the Heritage Classic on Sunday night. Knocking off the No.1 Canucks may be a tough challenge for Jacques Martin’s troops, but the Habs did come out on the winning end of a 2-0 decision against Roberto Luongo & Co. when they visited the Bell Centre this past November.  History is also on the Habs’ side, having lost just 16 of 58 games (33-16-8-1) in British Columbia.

Both teams have battled the injury bug this year, hit particularly hard on the blue line. The Canucks and Canadiens lead the league in the number of defensemen used so far, with the teams dressing 13 and 12 different blue-liners, respectively.

Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs – Thursday, February 24 @ 7:30 p.m.

After a three-game road trip, the Habs head home to face a more familiar foe. After splitting the season series, the Canadiens will look to win their second home game against the Leafs in as many opportunities, winning the first 3-0 on February 12.

Having been busy wheeling and dealing over the past week, the Leafs enter Thursday’s match-up with a few different players than they did earlier this month. No longer with the club are Kris Versteeg, who was sent to Philly, and Tomas Kaberle who is now manning the point in Boston. Based on Kaberle’s stats against the Canadiens – 49 points in 63 games – the long-time Leaf’s absence is probably good news for Montreal.

Canadiens vs. Hurricanes – Saturday, February 26 @ 7:00 p.m.

The Habs will be working on keeping their perfect record against the ‘Canes this year in tact, with the third and final game between the two clubs slated for Saturday night.

Clinging to eighth place in the Eastern Conference by four points, the Hurricanes will look to strengthen their grasp on a potential playoff spot.  

Tomas Plekanec will be looking forward to his 22nd career game against Carolina, having racked up 23 points and a 1.09 points-per-game average so far against the Hurricanes. In his first two games against the ‘Canes, the Czech center has already posted five points.

Vincent Cauchy and Hugo Fontaine are writers for Translated by Shauna Denis.

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