|MTL||0||1||1||(0 - 0)||2|
|CAR||2||2||2||(0 - 0)||6|
CANADIENS (41-29-7) at HURRICANES (36-30-10)
TV -- TSN (HD), RDS (HD), Fox Sports-Carolinas (HD)
Last 10 -- Montreal 4-6-0; Carolina 5-4-1.
Season series -- This is the fourth and final meeting between the teams. Montreal is going for a season sweep, as the Canadiens have outscored the Hurricanes 14-7 in three victories.
Big story -- It's a showdown featuring a pair of teams coming off big victories on Tuesday night. While the Canadiens ended a scoring drought that lasted almost 200 minutes in a 3-1 win against the Atlanta Thrashers at the Bell Centre, the Hurricanes got a huge boost in their playoff hopes with 3-2 shootout victory at Washington. Combined with Buffalo's regulation loss at Toronto, the Hurricanes moved within three points of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Canadiens-- Roman Hamrlik helped avoid what would have been a dubious honor as he prevented the Habs from being shutout in a franchise record fourth straight game at 12:56 of the opening period of Tuesday's 3-1 win against Atlanta at the Bell Centre. Mathieu Darche scored 11 seconds later for No. 6 Montreal, which is two points ahead of the New York Rangers.
"I don't even know if I got it because there were so many guys in the front of the net," Hamrlik said after scoring his first team's first goal in 199:01, a span of 10 days. "The most important thing is we got two points. As a team we worked much better than we did the last game and that's huge, to get some confidence to go on the road."
Hurricanes -- Carolina enters Wednesday's action just three points out of a playoff spot, and they have Jeff Skinner to thank for it as the rookie forward scored a goal and converted his shootout attempt to lift the Hurricanes to a 3-2 win against the Capitals on Tuesday night at the Verizon Center.
Skinner's goal tied the game at 2 less than two minutes into the third period, when his shot knuckled past Washington goalie Semyon Varlamov.
"This Skinner kid's a pretty special shooter," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "So before I qualify that shot as not real strong -- he's put enough by goalies from strange angles, that now you just accept it and say maybe he saw it."
Who's hot -- Skinner now has goals in two of his last three games and continues to make a strong case to be a Calder Trophy finalist as the NHL's Rookie of the Year.
Injury report -- Montreal will be without Andrei Markov (knee), Josh Gorges (knee), Jaroslav Spacek (knee) and Max Pacioretty (concussion, cracked vertebra). … Defenseman Joni Pitkanen returned from an illness on Tuesday night, while Jay Harrison missed the game with an upper-body injury.
Stat pack -- The last time Montreal failed to score in four straight was back in February 1928. … Tuesday marked the third day in a row that the Hurricanes and Buffalo played on the same night. That will be the case for each team for a five-game stretch until they meet April 3 in Raleigh.
Puck drop -- "The two points are all that really matters at this point. When you have teams creeping up behind you, just putting two points on the board is the biggest thing." -- Canadiens goalie Carey Price