CANADIENS (9-10-0) at PREDATORS (8-8-1)
Last 10 – Montreal 5-5-0; Nashville 6-4-0
Season series -- This is the only time the Canadiens and the Predators will see each other this season. Last season, Montreal won 3-2 over Nashville in their lone meeting, in which now-injured defenseman Andrei Markov scored the game-winner.
Big story -- With the Preds' win over the Blues on Thursday, Nashville climbed out of last place in the Central Division. The Predators host Montreal for the first time since Feb. 22, 2007, and will try to grab a sixth win in their last eight, while the Canadiens will try to secure two straight wins for the first time in three weeks. Saturday's game also marks the first time Predators defenseman Francis Bouillon plays against his former Montreal team, where he spent the better part of nine seasons.
Canadiens -- With the 4-2 win in Phoenix on Thursday, the Canadiens won just their third game in the last eight, but more importantly Carey Price picked up his first regulation win of the season and the Habs got their power play going. Coming in with one of the lowest-scoring power plays in the League this season, Montreal converted both of its opportunities against the Coyotes with goals from Mike Cammalleri and Glen Metropolit. Defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron, who was signed following Markov's injury, also got his game going, doubling his season point total with a goal and two assists.
"In the NHL, it's pretty much how you win games," Bergeron said. "We wanted to focus on t power play and penalty kill and they gave us the win."
Predators -- After giving up an early first-period goal to the Blues on Thursday, the Predators rebounded with three straight tallies and outshot St. Louis 37-22. Jordin Tootoo, who missed the first 13 games of the season with an injury, scored the unassisted game-winner.
"We stayed persistent for 60 minutes and it paid off," coach Barry Trotz said. "It was a good effort, especially on the road."
Who's hot -- With three assists on Thursday, Tomas Plekanec leads the Habs in scoring with 17 points. Following Plekanec with 16 points, Cammelleri broke his two-game goalless drought with the tally in Phoenix and leads the team with 67 shots on goal. Nashville right wing Patric Hornqvist, who has a two-game goal streak, has 10 points on the season, while J.P. Dumont leads with 11 points.
Injury report -- Jaroslav Spacek is the newest Montreal defenseman to fall victim to injury. Spacek is questionable for Saturday with a lower-body injury. Defensemen Hal Gill (hairline fracture of his foot), Ryan O’Byrne (knee) and Andrei Markov (severed ankle tendons) are on the IR with forwards Georges Laraque (back) and Matt D’Agostini (concussion). The Predators' injured list contains only center Colin Wilson, who has been out since Oct. 31 with a groin injury.
Stat pack -- The last four meetings between the two clubs have been decided by one goal, including two shootout wins.
Puck drop -- While Nashville has been hot in the last few, a Canadiens team with a functioning power play and consistent goaltending could prove to be tough challenge.