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Preview: Canadiens at Oilers

Carey Price returns for Montreal; Edmonton can move up Pacific Division standings

by Derek Van Diest / NHL.com Correspondent

CANADIENS (38-22-8) at OILERS (35-23-9)

7 p.m. ET; SN, RDS, NHL.TV

 

Canadiens team scope

Goaltender Carey Price will start for the Montreal Canadiens after missing a 5-0 loss at the Calgary Flames on Thursday because of the flu. Price has won his past five starts. Montreal had won six consecutive games before the loss. "Yeah, just a couple of guys picked it up and had to struggle with it for a little bit, but got through it," Price told the Canadians website after practice Saturday. The Canadiens, who did not have a morning skate Sunday, are playing the final game of a four-game road trip (2-1-0). Montreal is tied for first in the Atlantic Division with the Ottawa Senators. "We'd like to get off to a good start, from the drop of the puck, we have to be ready to be firing on all cylinders," Price said. "We have to redeem ourselves a little bit, we're not very pleased with the way we performed last game." Forward Alexander Radulov is expected to return after missing the past three games with a lower-body injury. "It's always long days when you're not playing, especially since I was traveling with the team," Radulov said Saturday. "Those days are long, it seems like forever, it was good that it didn't go more games."

 

Oilers team scope

The Edmonton Oilers are looking to move into second place in the Pacific Division after dropping to fourth, one point behind the Calgary Flames and Anaheim Ducks. Edmonton is playing the fourth (1-1-1) of a season-long, eight-game homestand. The Oilers lost 3-2 in a shootout against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday and did not have a morning skate Sunday. "It's exciting when Pittsburgh and Montreal, those types of teams come to town," coach Todd McLellan told the Oilers website Saturday. "We don't get to see them often and the energy around the building seems to go up a little bit." The Oilers, who have not made the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2006, hold the first wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference, four points ahead of the St. Louis Blues and seven ahead of the Los Angeles Kings. "There's talk about playoffs, but I think we're in a different phase right now, we're in a push to playoffs," McLellan said. "We don't even consider the tournament that will happen later, but this push is real important for us." Edmonton trailed 2-0 after the first period against Pittsburgh and is looking for a better start. "I look for a big battle again," forward Matt Hendricks said. "They had a tough night in Calgary [Thursday, 5-0 loss] and it's going to be much like the [New York] Islanders game [4-1 loss]. We can't sit around and let them dictate the pace."   

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Andrew Shaw

Artturi Lehkonen -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Alexander Radulov

Dwight King -- Torrey Mitchell -- Brendan Gallagher

Andreas Martinsen -- Steve Ott -- Michael McCarron

Andrei Markov -- Shea Weber

Alexei Emelin -- Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu -- Jordie Benn

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Paul Byron, Brandon Davidson, Nikita Nesterov

Injured: Tomas Plekanec (upper body), Brian Flynn (upper body)

 

Oilers projected lineup

Patrick Maroon -- Connor McDavid -- Leon Draisaitl

Milan Lucic -- Ryan Nugent-Hopkins -- Jordan Eberle

Benoit Pouliot -- David Desharnais -- Zack Kassian

Matt Hendricks -- Mark Letestu - Iiro Pakarinen

Oscar Klefbom -- Adam Larsson  

Andrej Sekera -- Kris Russell  

Darnell Nurse -- Matt Benning

Cam Talbot

Laurent Brossoit

Scratched: Drake Caggiula, Anton Slepyshev, Eric Gryba

Injured: Tyler Pitlick (knee)

 

Status report

Montreal has several players who are sick. "It's hard for me to confirm my lines right now, because from day to day, from hour to hour, I don't know what I'm going to have lately," coach Claude Julien said Saturday. "I'm just staying ready for any situations that arise." … Radulov is expected to play on the second line. … Davidson is not expected to play against his former team. The Canadiens acquired him in a trade with the Oilers for Desharnais on Feb. 28. Desharnais will be in the lineup for the Oilers, who are not expected to make any changes.

 

Who's hot

Galchenyuk has three goals and five assists in his past seven games. … McDavid has three goals and five assists in his past seven games. … Lucic has two goals and two assists in his past five games.

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