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Blue Jackets at Canadiens preview

Columbus seeking point in eighth straight game; Price to start again for Montreal

by Sean Farrell / Independent Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (27-16-9) at CANADIENS (24-22-7)

2 p.m. ET; SN1, SNE, SNO, TVAS, FS-O, NHL.TV


The Game

Carey Price will make a fifth straight start for the Montreal Canadiens when they play the Columbus Blue Jackets at Bell Centre on Sunday in the second of back-to-back games for each team.

Price made 29 saves in a 4-0 victory against the Florida Panthers on Saturday for his sixth win in seven starts. His third shutout of the season was his 47th in the NHL to pass Ken Dryden for third place all-time among Canadiens goalies.

Montreal has won two straight and is 6-2-0 in the past eight games after losing eight in a row (0-7-1).

Columbus had its six-game winning streak end with a 2-1 overtime loss at the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday in its first game since a 4-3 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 22. 

The Blue Jackets are 16-2-5 in their past 23 games.


Players to Watch

Blue Jackets forward Oliver Bjorkstrand has five goals in three games since missing the previous 13 games; he had seven points (five goals, two assists) during a four-game point streak prior to his rib/oblique injury.

Canadiens defenseman Jeff Petry had an NHL career-high four points with four assists Saturday.


They said it

"We find a way to come back in the third period, get a point against a team that's played games after the break and this is our first one. We'll take the point and go to Montreal." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella after the OT loss to the Sabres

"I don't think it's over until it's over. We have 29 games left and we're playing a lot of these games against our divisional teams, and if we will be able to beat them, we still have a small chance [to make the playoffs]." -- Canadiens forward Tomas Tatar


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Nick Foligno -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Gustav Nyquist -- Alexander Wennberg -- Cam Atkinson

Nathan Gerbe -- Boone Jenner -- Emil Bemstrom

Sonny Milano -- Riley Nash -- Eric Robinson

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Vladislav Gavrikov -- David Savard

Scott Harrington -- Markus Nutivaara

Elvis Merzlikins

Matiss Kivlenieks

Scratched: Jakob Lilja

Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (wrist), Josh Anderson (shoulder), Ryan Murray (lower body), Joonas Korpisalo (knee), Alexandre Texier (back), Dean Kukan (knee)


Canadiens projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Ilya Kovalchuk -- Nick Suzuki -- Joel Armia

Artturi Lehkonen -- Max Domi -- Jordan Weal

Nick Cousins -- Nate Thompson -- Dale Weise

Ben Chiarot -- Shea Weber

Brett Kulak -- Jeff Petry

Marco Scandella -- Victor Mete

Carey Price

Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: Ryan Poehling

Injured: Paul Byron (upper body), Jonathan Drouin (wrist)


Status report

Korpisalo and Anderson are on the trip. … The Blue Jackets signed Gerbe to a two-year, two-way contract extension. He would have been an unrestricted free agent July 1. ... The Canadiens assigned forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi to Laval of the American Hockey League on Saturday.


Stat pack

Wennberg is one point from 200 in the NHL. … Tatar has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past six games.

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