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Montreal a Good Test for Canes

Tuesday, 11.18.2008 / 11:37 AM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Montreal a Good Test for Canes

The Canes will get a good test tonight from the Montreal Canadiens as they try to build some momentum from Sunday’s shootout win over Tampa Bay.

Paul Branecky
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Montreal has slowed down somewhat since their 7-1-1 start to the season and is just 3-3-1 in November.  Part of the reason for that is that their slumping power play (26th in the NHL) has caught up to them.  They’re scoreless through their last four games spanning 20 chances.

Still, they have all the tools to make things tough on the Hurricanes

“We certainly respect their team and what they bring,” said Peter Laviolette.  “The skill, the skating and the defense – they bring a real well-coached, executed game and that’s why they’re having success this year.

”They’re a good challenge for us.  I like the games where we play teams that are on their toes and we’re on their toes – it makes for an exciting brand of hockey.”

Although Carolina lost the previous meeting with the Canadiens on October 28 in a shootout, Laviolette was happy with the showing and will hope for more of the same tonight.

”I like the way we played,” said Laviolette.  “I didn’t like the result and I didn’t like the score, but I certainly liked the way we played the game.”

One thing that jumps out when looking at the Canadiens’ tendencies thus far is their ability to protect leads.  Montreal is 7-0-1 when scoring first and undefeated when leading after the first and second periods.  That could cause the Hurricanes trouble if they continue to give up the first goal, which they’ve done in each of their last three games.

Some Montreal links from the morning:

The GazetteMontreal trying out new line combinations, Carey Price gets the start in goal and … Patrick Eaves on a five-game scoring streak?
 
Canadiens.com - Plekanec plays well against Carolina, Cullen is the Canes’ post-Cole Habs-killer

Justin Williams update:

He was on the ice again this morning, skating with extra defenseman Josef Melichar.

”It’s good to see him on the ice,” said Laviolette.  “He’s such a good kid and he’s a real good player for us.  I still think he’s a ways away, but he can get into that boot and he can skate and his tendon is OK, but it’s going to be a while before the competitive part comes into play.”

“For him, missing all of the end of last year and then coming into camp in tremendous [shape] and really excited and ready to play and then to be knocked out again, he was not very happy.  For him to be back in that situation where he’s at least on the ice, feeling his equipment on and the sweat coming off his brow, that’s a real good thing and he’s really positive about it.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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