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Canadiens at Wild preview

Montreal goes for third straight win; Minnesota tries to bounce back after home loss

by Jessi Pierce / Correspondent

CANADIENS (4-7-1) at WILD (4-4-2)

8 p.m. ET; FS-N, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV


The Game

The Montreal Canadiens will be seeking their third consecutive victory when they visit the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

The Canadiens are 3-1-0 in their past four games since ending a seven-game losing streak with a 5-1 win against the Florida Panthers on Oct. 24. They won 8-3 at the Ottawa Senators on Monday in the opener of a four-game road trip.

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said he considered scratching defenseman Matt Dumba after a third-period turnover against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday led to the deciding goal in a 2-1 loss. Dumba was benched for the final 19:17, which Boudreau said was enough of a message.


Players to watch

Canadiens defenseman Shea Weber had three assists in the victory at Ottawa and has seven points (two goals, five assists) in the past four games.

Wild center Eric Staal has three points (one goal, two assists) in a three-game point streak. His eight points (four goals, four assists) are tied with defenseman Jared Spurgeon (one goal, seven assists) and forward Chris Stewart (six goals, two assists) for the team lead.


They said it

"[Confidence] is probably the key word there. I didn't think we were playing that bad at times and we still weren't getting the results. Things are starting to come around now and the confidence of seeing things go the right way for us makes a big difference." -- Montreal coach Claude Julien

"We know we have to be better for sure. We're pretty sure they're going to come out flying. They're pretty confident about what they did last game and the way they came out, so I don't anticipate much of a change from them." -- Minnesota coach Bruce Boudreau


Canadiens projected lineup

Artturi Lehkonen -- Jonathan Drouin -- Paul Byron

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Andrew Shaw

Charles Hudon -- Tomas Plekanec -- Brendan Gallagher

Alex Galchenyuk -- Michael McCarron -- Torrey Mitchell

Victor Mete -- Shea Weber

Karl Alzner -- Jordie Benn

Brandon Davidson -- Jeff Petry

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Jacob De La Rose, Joe Morrow

Injured: David Schlemko (hand), Ales Hemsky (upper body), Nikita Scherbak (knee)


Wild projected lineup

Nino Niederreiter -- Eric Staal -- Luke Kunin

Jason Zucker -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund

Marcus Foligno -- Joel Eriksson Ek -- Chris Stewart

Daniel Winnik -- Matt Cullen -- Tyler Ennis

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Matt Dumba -- Jonas Brodin

Gustav Olofsson -- Mike Reilly

Devan Dubnyk

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Kyle Quincey

Injured: Zach Parise (back), Charlie Coyle (fibula), Landon Ferraro (hip)


Status report

Shaw will play after missing practice Wednesday with the flu. Price will start after Montoya was in goal for the win against the Senators. … Ferraro took part in the morning skate, and Boudreau said he might play Saturday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Foligno skated without a full cage for the first time since his return from a facial fracture on Oct. 19.


Stat pack

Danault has five points (two goals, three assists) in the past two games. Gallagher has six points (three goals, three assists) in the past five games. … Spurgeon has five points (one goal, four assists) in the past five games. He leads the Wild with seven assists. Minnesota is 0-for-16 on the power play in its past four games.

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