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Preview: Canadiens at Canucks

Alexander Radulov, Tomas Plekanec out for Montreal; Loui Eriksson to miss 1-2 weeks for Vancouver

by Kevin Woodley / Correspondent

CANADIENS (37-21-8) at CANUCKS (28-30-7)

10 p.m. ET; SNP, SNE, RDS, NHL.TV

Canadiens team scope

Forwards Alexander Radulov and Tomas Plekanec will not play for the Montreal Canadiens, who have won five games in a row. Radulov will miss a second straight game with a lower-body injury and Plekanec will miss his first game in almost three years with an upper-body injury. Plekanec, who has not scored in 17 games, had played 236 consecutive games since March 29, 2014. Defenseman Brandon Davidson will make his Canadiens debut after being acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers for forward David Desharnais on Feb. 28. Davidson replaces Alexei Emelin, who is a healthy scratch, on a pairing with Jeff Petry. "He's a guy that thinks the game really well, he moves well and can move the puck well," Petry said. Emelin has dropped from the top pairing to the press box in eight games since Claude Julien took over as coach. "He's had a little bit of a rough stretch here lately but he will find his game again and I would rather have him in my lineup than out," Julien said. "It's not an easy decision but when you are a coach sometimes you have to make tough decisions for the better of the individual and the better of the team." The Canadiens are 6-2-0 under Julien after going 1-5-1 in the previous seven games. Montreal (82 points) leads the Ottawa Senators by four points for first place in the Atlantic Division.

Canucks team scope

Vancouver Canucks forward Loui Eriksson will miss 1-2 weeks after injuring his knee in a 2-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday. Forward Nikolay Goldobin, who was acquired from the San Jose Sharks in a trade for forward Jannik Hansen on Feb. 28, will take Eriksson's spot on the second line with Bo Horvat and Sven Baertschi. Goldobin scored in his Canucks debut Saturday, a 4-3 win against the Los Angeles Kings, but Desjardins was wary of putting too much pressure on the 21-year-old. "It's a tough spot, you guys are expecting a lot from him," coach Willie Desjardins said. "We're pushing him up the lineup quite a bit and that's hard. People have to know it's going to take him time but he has the talent to be a good player." Goldobin played 5:51 against Los Angeles but had 12:41 of ice time after Eriksson was injured. He also will get some power-play time on the power play. Vancouver is six points behind the St. Louis Blues (69) for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. "You'd love to play the young players if they earn the ice time," Desjardins said. "But at the same time were six out and the boys in that room still want to make the playoffs."


Canadiens projected lineup

Max Pacioretty -- Phillip Danault -- Brendan Gallagher

Dwight King -- Alex Galchenyuk -- Artturi Lehkonen

Paul Byron -- Torrey Mitchell -- Andrew Shaw

Andreas Martinsen -- Steve Ott -- Brian Flynn

Andrei Markov -- Shea Weber

Brandon Davidson -- Jeff Petry

Nathan Beaulieu -- Jordie Benn

Carey Price

Al Montoya

Scratched: Nikita Nesterov, Michael McCarron, Alexei Emelin

Injured: Alexander Radulov (lower body), Tomas Plekanec (upper body)


Canucks projected lineup

Daniel Sedin -- Henrik Sedin -- Markus Granlund

Sven Baertschi -- Bo Horvat - Nikolay Goldobin

Brendan Gaunce -- Brandon Sutter -- Jayson Megna

Reid Boucher -- Michael Chaput -- Joseph Cramarossa

Alexander Edler -- Troy Stecher

Luca Sbisa -- Christopher Tanev

Ben Hutton -- Alex Biega

Ryan Miller

Richard Bachman

Scratched: Philip Larsen

Injured: Loui Eriksson (knee), Jacob Markstrom (lower body), Nikita Tryamkin (mumps), Jack Skille (groin)

Status report

Mitchell moves up from fourth-line right wing to center on the third line. Flynn takes his spot on the fourth line after being a healthy scratch four of the past five games. … Tryamkin has resumed skating but isn't ready to return after missing five games with the mumps. Markstrom has missed four games with an injury sustained at the Canucks Super Skills event on Feb. 26 and Desjardins said he will be out "at least a week and maybe longer."


Who's hot

Pacioretty has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his past 11 games. Galchenyuk has seven points (three goals, four assists) during a five-game point streak. Price has allowed four goals in four straight wins, including one shutout. … Horvat has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his past 10 games. Baertschi has two goals and an assist in three games since returning from a concussion.

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