Mighty Ducks-Canadiens Preview
GAME: Anaheim Mighty Ducks (12-12-5) at Montreal Canadiens (15-7-5).
TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.
To avoid another losing streak, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks will have to win in a city where they have struggled.
The Ducks continue their three-game Eastern road trip when they face the Montreal Canadiens. Anaheim is 0-3-1 in its last four visits to Montreal after a 5-4 win on March 21, 1998.
Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 28 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss Thursday to the Buffalo Sabres in his first start since aggravating a hamstring strain on Nov. 20.
"We put ourselves in a position to win," Mighty Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. "We just have to find ways to close those ones out."
Giguere, a Montreal native, is 1-2-1 with a 2.97 goals-against average and .893 save percentage in four games against his hometown team.
Leading scorer Teemu Selanne has been held without a point in the last three games after scoring in five straight games. The forward has 15 goals and 24 points in 29 games this season and is one goal and eight points behind his 2003-04 totals in 78 games with the Colorado Avalanche.
The Ducks have a 10-0 record when Selanne scores a point. He has 10 goals and 16 points in the 10 wins.
Against Montreal, Selanne has scored six goals and 13 assists in 17 games.
The injury-riddled Canadiens are looking to string together back-to-back wins for the first time since Nov. 5-8 during a season-high five-game winning streak.
Pierre Dagenais scored twice and Jan Bulis added a short-handed tally Saturday in a 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings, ending a four-game losing streak.
"We got great efforts from a lot of guys," Canadiens defenseman Sheldon Souray said. "We're missing some of our key guys right now so we showed a lot of character and deserved to win. Now we've got a week off to regroup and get some of them back."
The Canadiens will be without captain Saku Koivu for the third straight game with a groin injury.
"He's day-to-day," said head coach Claude Julien. "We hope he'll be ready for our next game on Tuesday (against the Phoenix Coyotes)."
Returning to the lineup are defensemen Andrei Markov, who has served a three-game suspension for shoving an official, and Mike Komisarek, who missed three games after the death of his mother.
STANDINGS (through Dec. 9): Mighty Ducks - 29 points, 4th place, 8 PB, Pacific Division. Canadiens - 35 points, 3rd place, 8 PB, Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Mighty Ducks - Selanne, 15 goals and 24 points; Scott Niedermayer, 15 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 57 PIM. Canadiens - Michael Ryder, 11 goals; Koivu, 18 assists and 26 points; Steve Begin, 51 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 9): Mighty Ducks - Power play: 15.3 percent (27 for 176), 23rd (tied) in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.6 percent (166 for 196), 8th. Canadiens - Power play: 18.2 percent (31 for 170), 13th (tied). Penalty killing: 80.6 percent (142 for 176), 23rd.
GOALTENDERS: Mighty Ducks - Giguere (6-3-5, 0 SO, 2.65 GAA); Ilya Bryzgalov (6-9-0, 0, 2.51). Canadiens - Jose Theodore (12-5-5, 0, 2.97); Cristobal Huet (0-0-0, 0, 0.00).
2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Canadiens, 1-0.
LAST MEETING: March 8, 2004; Canadiens, 5-2. At Anaheim, Calif., Koivu, Ryder, and Richard Zednik each scored a goal and assist and Theodore made 36 saves to give the Canadiens their ninth win in 11 games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Mighty Ducks - 2-6-3 on the road; Canadiens - 9-4-2 at home.