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Preview: Canadiens at Avalanche

Montreal looks to avoid fourth straight loss; Tyson Barrie, Rene Bourque remain out for Colorado

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

CANADIENS (30-16-8) at AVALANCHE (14-33-2)

TV: 9 p.m. ET; ALT, SNE, RDS, NHL.TV

Canadiens team scope

Forward Alex Galchenyuk will move back to center on a line with left wing Artturi Lehkonen and right wing Paul Byron after playing left wing Sunday in the Montreal Canadiens' 1-0 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Galchenyuk has one assist in three games after missing 21 of the previous 26 games because of knee injuries. "We're hoping this will help him to get his game back," coach Michel Therrien said. "We're optimistic that he's more in game shape than just practicing on his own. He's playing with two guys who have got speed, and they're good checkers as well. We're going to try those guys together and hope it's going to be the right combination." The Canadiens have scored three goals during a three-game losing streak (0-2-1). "The thing that we need to improve, we need to generate more offense even if we're doing a lot of good things defensively," Therrien said. "We need to support … the puck carrier." Forward Max Pacioretty, who needs one goal for 200 in the NHL, said the Canadiens have been playing a little too passively in recent games. "We were playing so aggressive when we had a lot of injuries and I think maybe we sat back a little bit when we got a lot of those guys back," he said. "It's a good wake-up call to know that no matter who's in the lineup, any team can beat any other team. It's nice to have those guys back, but we can't let our foot off the gas at all. We have to make sure we have the same mindset that we had when they were out." Goaltender Carey Price will start after backup Al Montoya made 32 saves against the Oilers. Defenseman Nathan Beaulieu will play in his 200th NHL game.


Avalanche team scope

Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie and forward Rene Bourque each will miss his second consecutive game because of a lower-body injury. Barrie, third on the Avalanche with 23 points (three goals, 20 assists) has missed five of the past six games. Defenseman Fedor Tyutin will be a game-time decision. He practiced Monday after missing three consecutive games because of hip and groin injuries. Defenseman Mark Barberio, claimed on waivers from the Canadiens on Thursday, said he is looking forward to playing against his former teammates. "As soon as I got picked up by Colorado I checked the schedule," he said. "Go figure, you're playing Montreal now; it's funny how things work out like that. They're my friends and it'll be fun, exciting." Goaltender Calvin Pickard will start after making 23 saves in a 5-2 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday that ended the Avalanche's losing streak at nine games (0-8-1). They lost 10-1 at the Canadiens on Dec. 10. "Last time we played these guys they embarrassed us," forward Matt Duchene said. "I wouldn't say we want revenge, but we want to redeem ourselves for sure. We were embarrassed by our own effort and how good they were."


Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Alexander Radulov

Arttturi Lehkonen -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Paul Byron

Sven Andrighetto -- Tomas Plekanec -- Andrew Shaw

Torrey Mitchell -- David Desharnais -- Brian Flynn

Alexei Emelin -- Shea Weber

Nathan Beaulieu -- Jeff Petry

Andrei Markov -- Nikita Nesterov

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Jacob De La Rose, Greg Pateryn  

Injured: Brendan Gallagher (hand)


Avalanche projected lineup

Mikhail Grigorenko -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Gabriel Landeskog -- Matt Duchene -- Matt Nieto

Blake Comeau -- John Mitchell -- Jarome Iginla

Andreas Martinsen -- Carl Soderberg -- Joe Colborne

Francois Beauchemin -- Nikita Zadorov

Eric Gelinas -- Patrick Wiercioch

Mark Barberio -- Cody Goloubef

Calvin Pickard

Spencer Martin

Scratched: Fedor Tyutin

Injured: Tyson Barrie (lower body), Rene Bourque (lower body), Erik Johnson (broken fibula), Semyon Varlamov (hip surgery)


Status report

Gallagher is close to returning but won't play Tuesday or against the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday, Therrien said. ... If Tyutin can play, Gelinas would come out of the lineup.


Who's hot

Radulov has three goals and six assists in his past nine games. Pacioretty has four goals and one assist in his past four games. ... Duchene has two goals and six assists in his past eight games.

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