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Canadiens-Devils Preview @NHLdotcom

Before playing in his first All-Star Game in Montreal, Canadiens goalie Carey Price is expected to get his first start in three weeks.

Price, who returned from an eight-game absence Tuesday, should be in net again when Montreal (27-12-6) visits the surging New Jersey Devils (28-15-3) in the teams' final game before the All-Star break.

After Jaroslav Halak allowed three goals in the first 23:48, Price entered Tuesday's 4-2 loss in Atlanta and stopped nine of 10 shots in his first appearance since suffering an ankle injury on Dec. 30.

"It was nice to get in there," he said. "It was pretty close (before) a couple of bad bounces. The fourth goal was a bad bounce. What can you do?"

Before his injury, Price had a 7-0-2 record in his previous nine starts, and he remains one of the NHL's leaders in goals-against average at 2.28.

Price, who will start for the Eastern Conference in Sunday's All-Star Game at the Bell Centre barring any more ankle problems, is 2-1-1 versus New Jersey with a 1.75 GAA, but took the loss in a 2-1 overtime defeat on Dec. 6.

Defenseman Andrei Markov, one of four Canadiens All-Star starters, also had an assist in Tuesday's game to extend his point streak to seven. Markov and Price will join Alex Kovalev and Mike Komisarek on the ice to start Sunday's game.

In his first NHL game in more than eight months and first with New Jersey since April 15, 1991, Brendan Shanahan scored a goal in Monday's 3-1 win in Nashville, helping the Devils wrap up a season-high, six-game road trip at 5-1. They also enter Wednesday's game with four straight wins.

"I didn't know if things would come back right away," said Shanahan, who played his first four seasons in New Jersey. "I probably played a little more than I expected. I still think I have a lot of work to do. This is a game that has a lot of adrenaline. It is just one game. There is a long way for me to go and a lot of building for me yet."

First-time All-Star Zach Parise also added his team-leading 27th goal against the Predators - his fifth in the last six games. Parise enters the final game before the break fourth in the league in goals and seventh with 53 points.

It was Parise who scored the game-winner 31 seconds into overtime on Price in the teams' previous meeting, and he also had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 home win Jan. 2 over the Canadiens.

Right wing David Clarkson, tied for the team lead with 85 penalty minutes, also scored Monday to extend his point streak to a career-best five games.

Scott Clemmensen has been playing like an All-Star of late, allowing a goal in each of his last two starts and recording three consecutive victories. Clemmensen, who is 18-9-1 with a 2.30 GAA since taking over as New Jersey's top goaltender, stopped 25 of 26 shots in the Dec. 6 victory.

Since 1991-92, the Devils are 24-4-0 with four ties at home against Montreal.

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