Red Wings, Canadiens battle for crucial points
Updated On: Mar 27 2014 01:33:02 PM EDT
The Montreal Canadiens can solidify their position in the Atlantic with their seventh win in eight games when they visit the division-rival Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
Montreal sits two points clear of Tampa Bay for second in the division, while the Red Wings are locked in a four-way tie for the Eastern Conference wild-card spots. Detroit is riding an 11-game home point streak (8-0-3), while Montreal is one of four teams in the conference with at least 20 road victories.
The Red Wings captured the first two contests of the four-game season series with the Canadiens, winning 4-1 at home on Jan. 24 and 2-1 in overtime at Montreal on Feb. 26. Carey Price is expected to start for the Canadiens after recording his 24th career shutout.
Jimmy Howard should make his eighth straight start for the Red Wings despite having allowed at least three goals in three of his last four appearances.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, RDS, TSN, FSN (Detroit)
ABOUT THE CANADIENS (41-26-7): Dale Weise and Travis Moen are both day-to-day with injuries, leaving Montreal short on forward depth. Max Pacioretty has five goals in March and is one shy of matching his career high of 33 as he finds chemistry on a line with David Desharnais and Thomas Vanek. Montreal has scored on the power play in five of its last seven contests.
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (33-25-14): Gustav Nyquist is on fire, tallying nine times during his six-game goal-scoring streak. Detroit needs Nyquist’s torrid pace to continue until Pavel Datsyuk can return from a knee injury, which the team hopes happens soon. Tomas Jurco will return to the lineup after missing the last three games with a rib injury.
1. The Canadiens have won at least four games in a row three times this season.
2. Montreal is 14-7-4 against divisional opponents while Detroit is 12-6-5.
3. Detroit is 17-6-0 against the Canadiens dating back to April 13, 1994.