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Game Preview: Canadiens @ Coyotes

The Canadiens close out their two-game road swing with a stop in Phoenix on Thursday night to battle the Arizona Coyotes

by Montreal Canadiens @canadiensmtl / canadiens.com

CANADIENS (30-17-8) @ COYOTES (17-28-6)

The Canadiens close out their two-game road swing with a stop in Phoenix on Thursday night to battle the Arizona Coyotes.

Michel Therrien's troops enjoyed a day off in the Aztec State on Wednesday, and the veteran bench boss is hopeful that the rest will do his group some good. The Canadiens are coming off a 4-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, who currently sit last in the NHL's overall standings.

While the Coyotes have struggled all season long on the road with a record of 6-15-4, they've managed to play relatively well at home, hovering around the .500 mark at 11-13-2. With that in mind, it certainly wouldn't be wise to take Arizona lightly at Gila River Arena. They also boast one of the best goaltenders in the League in Mike Smith.

Up front, Radim Vrbata is leading the way for the Coyotes with 11 goals and 35 points.

For their part, the Canadiens are beginning a stretch of three games in the next four days - in three different cities. They'll be at home against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night before travelling to Boston to take on the Bruins on Sunday. That will lead them into their bye week, where they'll enjoy four straight days of well-deserved rest.

It's safe to say that the next three games come at a rather important time of the year.

"We have three games here before the break. We have to find it. We've got to bear down and try and get three wins," said captain Max Pacioretty following Tuesday night's loss in Denver.

The Canadiens will be looking to snap a four-game winless skid in Arizona after going 0-3-1 in their last four outings.

Puck drop is scheduled for 9 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, as well as on TSN Radio 690 and 98,5 fm.

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