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Preview: Canadiens vs. Hurricanes

Curtain falls on 2019 with Montreal in town

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

The Carolina Hurricanes ring in the new year (and decade) by hosting the Montreal Canadiens.

The New Year's Eve match-up is the Canes' second of their season-long, seven-game homestand, which began with a 6-4 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday.

The Year in Canes

What a year it's been for the Hurricanes.

It began in January with an improbable run that snapped a 10-year playoff drought, continuing into May with the Canes' run to the Eastern Conference Final.

The Canes have brought that good fortune into the 2019-20 season, as they currently occupy a wild card playoff spot through 39 games.

In total during 2019, the Hurricanes have posted a 53-26-4 record and 110 points, the second-most wins and fourth-most points in the calendar year.

Happy New Year!

The Hurricanes are playing on New Year's Eve for the second consecutive season and 18th time in franchise history.


Last season, the Canes topped the Philadelphia Flyers, 3-1, the game that kicked off a 31-12-2 run through the last half of the 2018-19 regular season.

This year, the Canes bring a 23-14-2 record into the game.

Nino Heating Up

Nino Niederreiter is riding a four-game point streak (1g, 4a) after totaling the same five-point stat line (1g, 4a) in his previous 14 games.

In 18 career games against Montreal, Niederrieter has recorded seven goals and 10 points.

The Last Meeting

This New Year's Eve match-up is a rematch of Opening Night, in which the Hurricanes landed a 4-3 shootout victory over the Canadiens. With goals from Lucas Wallmark and Martin Necas, the Canes grabbed a 2-0 advantage, but the Habs scored three straight goals to take a 3-2 lead into the second intermission. Erik Haula tied the game in the third period, and in the shootout, Dougie Hamilton scored the lone goal and Petr Mrazek turned away the three shots he faced.

Video: Hurricanes edge Canadiens in shootout

The Opposition

The Canadiens have spent the entire second half of December away from home, with Tuesday's game being the team's seventh consecutive road game. In that stretch, Montreal is 3-3-0, having dropped games to Tampa Bay and Florida since returning from the three-day holiday break. Defenseman Shea Weber, who has totaled 31 points (12g, 19a) in 39 games, was named to the Atlantic Division All-Star team on Monday.

"Montreal, to me, is kind of a fun team to watch, actually. They play fast and fire a lot of pucks at the net. Some real good skill on that team," Brind'Amour said. "We're going to have to be on our toes like every night."





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