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Game Preview: Canadiens (4-7-1) @ Wild (4-4-2)

The Canadiens have won three of their last four games, scoring 18 goals in the process

by Staff Writer @CanadiensMTL /

SAINT PAUL - With three wins in their last four games, the Canadiens arrive in Minnesota with a renewed sense of optimism as they begin a three-game road trip in the Midwest.

On Monday, the Habs rallied from an early deficit and exploded for eight goals in Ottawa, defeating the Senators 8-3. Charles Hudon scored his first two career NHL goals, Artturi Lehkonen got his first two of the season, and four other Canadiens got pucks by Craig Anderson in the winning effort.

Video: MTL@OTT: Hudon buries first two NHL goals

Al Montoya stopped 25 of 28 shots for the visitors.

On Wednesday, head coach Claude Julien confirmed that Carey Price would return between the pipes to face the Wild. He has a 4-5-0-0 lifetime record against Minnesota with a 3.01 goals-against average and .891 save percentage.

Tweet from @CanadiensMTL: Julien also confirms that Price will be in goal in Minnesota. #GoHabsGo

Despite missing practice on Wednesday with the flu, Andrew Shaw traveled with the team and confirmed after Thursday's morning skate that he'd be in the lineup.

After Minnesota, the Habs will face the Jets on Saturday and the Blackhawks on Sunday before returning home.

The Canadiens have scored 18 goals in their last four games, collecting wins against Florida and the New York Rangers at home in addition to the win over the Sens on the road in that span.

Last season, Montreal went 0-2-0 against Minnesota. The Habs lost 4-2 at home to the Wild last December, and 7-1 at the Xcel Energy Center in January.

Chris Stewart, Eric Staal and Jared Spurgeon sit atop the Wild's scoring list with eight points each. Forward Zach Parise, who scored 19 goals and 23 assists for Minnesota last season, was injured during training camp and underwent back surgery last Tuesday. He is expected to be out eight to 10 weeks.

Head coach Bruce Boudreau is expected to go with Devan Dubnyk in nets against the Canadiens.

After losing their first two games of 2017-18, the Wild have played .500 hockey. In their last game, on Tuesday, they fell 2-1 to the Winnipeg Jets, three days after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins by that same score.

After the Canadiens, Minnesota plays at home against the Blackhawks on Saturday before embarking on a four-game Eastern conference road trip, which includes a stop in Montreal next Thursday.

Puck drop is set for 8:00 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on TSN2 and RDS, and will be on the radio on TSN 690 and 98,5 fm.

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