RED WINGS (28-32-11, 67 PTS) @ CANADIENS (41-23-8, 90 PTS)
The Canadiens go in search of their third straight victory when they play host to the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
Claude Julien's troops are coming off a big home-and-home weekend sweep of the Ottawa Senators, which gave them a four-point lead over Guy Boucher's squad for top spot in the Atlantic Division with 10 games remaining on their regular-season schedule.
On Sunday night, Tomas Plekanec, Jordie Benn, Paul Byron and Nathan Beaulieu all managed to light the lamp behind Senators goaltender Craig Anderson in a 4-1 victory. Byron reached the 20-goal plateau for the very first time in his NHL career, earning first-star honours to the delight of the home crowd. Carey Price, meanwhile, posted a 30-save performance to register his 33rd win of the season.
Video: Price lifts Canadiens past Senators, 4-1
Price will get the night off with Al Montoya getting the start between the pipes. It will mark Montoya's first start since March 9 in Calgary. The Chicago native has a 1-1-0 record in three career outings against Detroit.
"The other guy who made two starts in two nights deserves a break! That was the plan, if Carey played both games over the weekend, we were going to rest him," said Julien, following Tuesday's morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex. "But, Al also deserves to play his fair share of games. We're trying to make the best decisions possible for each individual, but also for the team."
Steve Ott returns to the lineup in favor of Michael McCarron after being a healthy scratch on Sunday night against the Senators.
"We're going to continue rotating," confirmed Julien. "Mike will be back in the lineup because he's one of our future players. I prefer having him here and seeing him play every so often instead of sending him to St. John's where he'll be far away. He's a good player. Ott is playing against his former team and we hope that it will serve as motivation for the entire group."
For his part, Plekanec will surpass Guy Carbonneau and take sole possession of 11th spot on the Canadiens' all-time games played list on Tuesday night by suiting up for his 913th career game in a Habs uniform.
The Red Wings, meanwhile, saw their two-game winning streak snapped on Monday night at Joe Louis Arena, falling 2-1 to the Buffalo Sabres.
Detroit enters the contest sitting last in the Atlantic Division - and ranking 15th in the Eastern Conference standings - with 67 points in 71 games.
The Canadiens have won two of their three meetings with the Red Wings so far this season.
Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet East and RDS, as well as on TSN Radio 690 and 98,5 fm.