MONTREAL – The Habs will spend the second-to-last week of the NHL’s regular season trying to cement a place for themselves in the playoffs with wins over the Thrashers, Hurricanes and Devils – all of whom will be looking to spoil their chances.
Canadiens vs. Thrashers – Tuesday, March 29 @ 7:30PM
Jacques Martin and the Habs will try to get back into the habit of winning with a victory over the Atlanta Thrashers, currently sitting in 11th place in the Eastern Conference. While it was the Thrashers who walked away with points in each of the teams’ first two meetings of the season, it was the Habs who emerged victorious in their most recent encounter on Mar. 1.
After getting called up by Atlanta from the Chicago Wolves on Mar. 10, forward Ben Maxwell could finally be playing his first NHL game on Bell Centre ice since being traded by the Canadiens, along with a fourth-round draft pick, in exchange for defenseman Brent Sopel and forward Nigel Dawes.Canadiens @ Hurricanes – Wednesday, March 30 @ 7:00PM
The Habs head to Raleigh with a chance to sweep their season series against the Carolina Hurricanes – an opportunity they’ll try to make the most of as the host team of the 2011 All-Star Game is currently vying for the Eastern conference’s eighth and final playoff spot.
The Canadiens’ offensive guns have already enjoyed their fair share of success against the Hurricanes this season and will try to keep the trend going on Wednesday night. In three games against the Carolina squad, Tomas Plekanec
has racked up two goals and five assists, Michael Cammalleri has two goals and three assists to his name and Andrei Kostitsyn registered three goals and two helpers. Even Roman Hamrlik made sure to get in on the action, notching four goals of his own.Canadiens @ Devils – Saturday, April 2 @ 7:00PM
Already mathematically eliminated from a run in the playoffs, the Devils will have to content themselves by making life hard on the other teams still in contention. The Devils have finally cooled down after running red-hot following head-coach Jacques Lemaire’s return to the team shortly before Christmas at a point when they ranked dead last in the NHL.
Despite finding some brief success, the Devils currently rank 25th in the League and 12th in the Eastern Conference. Sitting 12 points behind the eighth seeded Sabres, a shot at the second season is out of the question.
Vincent Cauchy is a writer for Canadiens.com. Translated by Justin Fragapane.
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