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Preview: Ducks Look to Stay Hot Tonight in Montreal

by Kyle Shohara @kyleshohara /

It's been a long time coming, but the Ducks are finally starting to find their groove. Tonight, they look for their third straight win and their sixth in the past eight games against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre. (4 p.m. PT, TV: Prime Ticket, Radio: AM 830). The Ducks are in the midst of a five-game road trip that has seen them win the first two, most recently a 3-2 shootout victory over Ottawa on Tuesday.

It wasn't the prettiest win two nights ago, but the Ducks managed to fend off the Senators long enough to force a shootout, where John Gibson stoned both Ottawa shooters and Ondrej Kase and Rickard Rakell scored in the first and third rounds. The outcome might've been different at earlier parts of the season, but the Ducks are simply finding ways to win these days.

A healthy lineup could be a reason why the Ducks are playing some of their most consistent hockey of the season. Nick Ritchie, who missed 18 games with a knee injury from Dec. 8-Jan. 17, scored the opening goal on Tuesday, and Derek Grant, out for 12 games from Dec. 18-Jan. 13 with a shoulder injury, scored an insurance marker in their win over LA on Saturday.

This is the opener of a two-game season series between the Ducks and Canadiens. The Ducks are 16-14-4 all-time vs. the Canadiens, including a 6-9-2 mark at Bell Centre. The most recent meeting between the two clubs resulted in an 8-2 Ducks victory on March 8, 2019 at Honda Center, the largest victory against Montreal in franchise history. Adam Henrique paces active Ducks in career scoring vs. Montreal with 13 points (6g/7a) in 19 games.

The Canadiens enter tonight's game with a 7-3-0 record in their past 10 games, including a 5-4 shootout victory against New Jersey on Tuesday. Tomas Tatar leads the Habs in scoring with 50 points (20g/30a) in 55 games, and needs just eight more points to tie his career high for points in a season (set during the 2018-19 campaign - his first with Montreal). Carey Price has appeared in 44 games this season, posting a 22-18-4 record, 2.75 goals-against average, .911 save percentage and three shutouts.

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