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Preview: Hurricanes at Canadiens

Carolina tries for sixth straight victory; Montreal is coming off rare home loss

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

HURRICANES (8-6-4) at CANADIENS (14-4-2)

(7:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN360, RDS, FS-CR, NHL.TV)

 

Hurricanes team scope

The Carolina Hurricanes, on a five-game winning streak, face the Montreal Canadiens for the second time in less than a week, having won 3-2 against them on Friday. "We've done a lot of good things here recently," Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said Thursday. "We did a lot of good things earlier in the year, just not on a consistent basis. Now we're able to do them for 60, 65 minutes, whatever it takes on any given night. Better contributions throughout the lineup, all three pairs on the back end, very solid. We play everybody, we're not worried about matchups on the road." The Hurricanes held an optional morning skate after practicing at Bell Centre on Wednesday. Unlike in last week's game against the Canadiens in Raleigh, N.C., Carolina will face Montreal goalie Carey Price, who was rested Friday, and forward Alexander Radulov, who was sick. "Is he sick again? Dang," Peters said. "You go back to that game, through 40 (minutes) there wasn't a lot cooking for us. We didn't have much going, and we're well aware of that. We're realistic. We were able to dig in and find a way for 20 minutes. That recipe tonight won't work." Peters said that facing Price adds to the challenge of continuing the winning streak. "If he sees it, he stops it," Peters said. "So if you think you're blowing it by him from 40, 45 feet, you're in a fantasy land. You better get pucks to the net, you better get bodies to the net, you better find seconds and thirds and get some greasy goals. That's the only chance you have. This guy's elite. Elite. There's Carey Price, and then the rest of the conversation begins. It's a whole different level."

 

Canadiens team scope

The Canadiens have struggled of late, going 1-3-1 after winning 12 of 13 games. Even with a 4-3 loss against the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, Montreal's first in regulation at home since April 5 (they had gone 12-0-1 at home), the Canadiens are off to an 11-1-1 start at Bell Centre. Defenseman Mark Barberio will make his season debut against Carolina. He was recalled from St. John's of the AHL after defenseman Nathan Beaulieu was hit by a puck in the throat area on Tuesday. Barberio, who was one of the Canadiens' final cuts in training camp, had three goals and 11 assists in 18 games with St. John's. "Of course it wasn't part of my plans to return to Newfoundland, but things happen and I went down with a good attitude," said Barberio, who had two goals and eight assists in 30 games with Montreal last season. "And they gave me plenty of ice time, an opportunity to find my game, and now I'm really happy to be back." He will be paired with Greg Pateryn, who was a healthy scratch for a second straight game Tuesday.

 

Hurricanes projected lineup

Jeff Skinner -- Jordan Staal -- Sebastian Aho

Teuvo Teravainen -- Victor Rask -- Elias Lindholm

Viktor Stalberg -- Derek Ryan -- Lee Stempniak

Joakim Nordstrom --Jay McClement -- Brock McGinn

Ron Hainsey -- Justin Faulk

Jaccob Slavin -- Brett Pesce

Noah Hanifin -- Matt Tennyson

Cam Ward

Michael Leighton

Scratched: Klas Dahlbeck, Ryan Murphy, Andrej Nestrasil

Injured: Eddie Lack (concussion), Bryan Bickell (multiple sclerosis)

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Paul Byron -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Alexander Radulov

Max Pacioretty -- Tomas Plekanec -- Brendan Gallagher

Phillip Danault -- Torrey Mitchell -- Andrew Shaw

Charles Hudon -- David Desharnais -- Chris Terry

Alexei Emelin -- Shea Weber

Andrei Markov -- Jeff Petry

Mark Barberio -- Greg Pateryn

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Daniel Carr

Injured: Nathan Beaulieu (throat), Brian Flynn (upper body), Artturi Lehkonen (upper body), Zach Redmond (foot)

 

Status report

Ward has allowed one goal or fewer four times during his five-game winning streak, including his 24th NHL shutout in a 1-0 win against the San Jose Sharks on Nov. 15. "We obviously liked (Ward) when you go back in the summer, we re-signed him to a two-year deal," Peters said. "So obviously we saw something in there that justified us signing him. And I think we're right. He handles the puck well and when we play well in front of him and give him structure, he's very good." ... Beaulieu was released from the hospital Wednesday, though he is likely to miss the Canadiens' game at the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. "He's still got some tests," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said Wednesday. "We'll find out a bit more in the next few days." ... The Canadiens assigned defenseman Joel Hanley to St. John's on Wednesday.

 

Who's hot

Rask has four goals and one assist in his past six games. ... Skinner (two goals, one assist) and Lindholm (one goal, two assists) each have a three-game point streak. ... Weber has had two straight two-point games (one goal, three assists). ... Galchenyuk has two goals and one assist in two games since ending a six-game point streak. He has seven goals and nine assists for 16 points in his past 13 games and leads Montreal with 21 points. He and Weber are tied for the Canadiens lead with eight goals. ... Radulov has nine points (one goal and eight assists) during a seven-game point streak.

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