GAME: Montreal Canadiens (24-19-6-2) at Minnesota Wild (17-20-15-0).
TIME: Thursday, 8 p.m. EST.
The momentum the Montreal Canadiens were building has been slowed by several
injuries and a three-game losing streak.
Montreal will try to avoid a season-high fourth straight loss when it visits
the Minnesota Wild.
The Canadiens had been one of the league's hottest teams in January, going
7-1-1 before matching a season high with losses in their last three games.
Jose Theodore allowed three goals on seven third-period shots Tuesday as
Montreal lost 4-1 at Buffalo.
The defeat allowed the New York Islanders to pull within two points of the
Canadiens for seventh in the Eastern Conference.
``We need to bounce back. It's three in a row and that's enough,''
Montreal's Mike Ribeiro said.
Four regular forwards were out of Montreal's lineup _ right wings Jason
Ward, Pierre Dagenais and Andreas Dackell and center Steve Begin. Ward and
Begin have shoulder injuries, Dackell has a sore knee and Dagenais served the
first game of a two-game suspension for high-sticking Toronto's Bryan Marchment
``Lately, we have played as well as we'd like, but with injuries and
suspensions, we need guys to pick up the slack,'' Canadiens coach Claude Julien
said. ``We are struggling a little bit and we have to find a way back to our
Theodore has allowed 10 goals during the three-game losing streak after
yielding six goals in his previous five starts.
Minnesota should be happy to get back home after going 0-2-1 during a
three-game trip in California.
Richard Park and Jim Dowd scored power-play goals and Dwyane Roloson
rebounded from his worst game of the season with 34 saves Monday as the Wild
skated to a 2-2 tie against Los Angeles.
The power-play goals came after Minnesota entered Monday 2-for-56 with the
man advantage in its previous 16 games.
``We need to score more goals, and the power play is where we can get
them,'' said Andrew Brunette, who assisted on both goals.
The draw left the Wild 0-4-7 in their last 11 road games, and 0-0-15 in
overtime this season.
Injuries also are a problem for Minnesota, which was without forwards Wes
Walz and Marian Gaborik and defensemen Brad Bombardir and Andrei Zyuzin on