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Hurricanes-Canadiens Preview @NHL

The Montreal Canadiens didn't seem to mind opening their season with three straight road games.

The Canadiens are hoping they can have similar success on their own ice Saturday when they host the Carolina Hurricanes in their home opener.

Montreal (2-0-1) earned at least a point in each of its first three games, including a 3-2 overtime win over Carolina (3-1-1) in its season opener on Oct. 3 and a 4-3 overtime loss in Toronto last Saturday. The Canadiens wrapped up their season-opening road trip with a 3-2 win in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

Alexei Kovalev, Andrei Markov and Tomas Plekanec each scored against the Penguins. Kovalev, Markov and Saku Koivu, who assisted on Markov's goal, each have at least one point in every game this season. Markov leads the team with three assists and five points.

However, goalie Carey Price stole the show Wednesday, stopping 24 shots in his NHL debut. The 20-year-old netminder, the fifth pick in the 2005 draft, turned away 24 shots to become the third-youngest goalie in team history to win an NHL game, behind only Patrick Roy and Jose Theodore.

"It hasn't really hit me yet," Price said. "It's pretty exciting."

Cristobal Huet will be back in goal in Montreal's home opener. In his two starts, Huet has allowed six goals while stopping 56 shots for a 2.89 goals-against average.

Huet turned away 29 of 31 shots in Montreal's win in Carolina. Koivu had two goals, including the game-winner at 1:05 of overtime, and the Canadiens scored three times on seven power-play chances.

Montreal has managed just one power-play goal in eight chances since that game. However, the Hurricanes have struggled somewhat on the penalty kill, allowing six goals on their opponents' 27 chances with the man advantage.

Eric Staal and Bret Hedican both scored in last week's matchup with Montreal, but Carolina lost for just the third time in the last 11 regular-season meetings. The Hurricanes also knocked the Canadiens out of the first round of the 2005-06 playoffs in six games.

Carolina is coming off Thursday's 5-3 win over Ottawa. Erik Cole scored twice and Chad Larose had three assists against the Senators, who entered the game 5-0.

Coach Peter Laviolette said he wanted his team to remember it's essentially the same team that won the Stanley Cup two seasons ago.

"We've got to stop playing the opponent. We've got to start playing our game," he said. "We've got great hockey players in there who are capable of good things on any night. Yeah, they have a good hockey team, obviously, but we've got a good team, too. We should just worry about ourselves."

Staal had a goal and two assists and leads the Hurricanes with five goals and eight points.

"It was definitely a nice win for our team," Staal said.

The Hurricanes, who missed the playoffs last season, have scored 16 goals in their three wins and just two in their two defeats. They are 2-1 midway through a six-game road trip.

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