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Habs go for series sweep of 'Canes

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

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Habs go for series sweep of 'Canes
Montréal Canadiens vs. Carolina Hurricanes

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.

Team Scope:

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

2010-2011 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 30 '11 MTL 2 at CAR 6 J. McBain
Feb 26 '11 CAR 3 at MTL 4 A. Kostitsyn
Dec 23 '10 MTL 3 at CAR 2 A. Picard
Nov 13 '10 CAR 2 at MTL 7 B. Gionta
T. Plekanec73213455+76034
J. Wisniewski71103949-163672
M. Cammalleri63172643+23372
A. Kostitsyn77202242+33056
B. Gionta78261541+12455
P. Subban73122436-712071
S. Gomez7672936-164832
R. Hamrlik7552833+57920
B. Pouliot75131730+48314
J. Halpern72111526+62903
M. Pacioretty37141024-13972
M. Darche55101222+51021
D. Desharnais3981422-11240
L. Eller737916-54402
T. Moen7761016-39600
J. Spacek5711516+84500
Y. Weber391910+11200
M. Lapierre38538-76300
A. Picard43358+01721
H. Gill72268-74301
B. Sopel68257+51600
J. Gorges36167-31811
T. Pyatt57235-3700
P. Mara49145+18801
R. White23134+43100
A. Markov7123+2401
D. Boyd10101-6200
N. Dawes13011-6000
A. Palushaj3000+1200
R. O'Byrne3000+0400
A. Engqvist3000+0000
B. Nash2000-1000
C. Price6935-28-616220552.41.921
A. Auld156-2-1303512.62.915
E. Staal76313869-1068128
J. Skinner77292958+34462
T. Ruutu77183553+05061
E. Cole77232649-24937
J. Jokinen65173249+22281
J. Corvo77102737-171651
C. Stillman60112536+52422
J. Pitkanen6743034-45801
C. LaRose77151328-205920
J. McBain7172128-83012
B. Sutter77131427+142313
S. Samsonov58101626+01240
P. Dwyer7581018-61202
B. Allen6741216+28201
I. White5521416-61810
T. Gleason7721315-128500
J. Tlusty526612+21200
J. Harrison723710+57200
A. Babchuk17358-41211
Z. Boychuk23437-2411
D. Joslin29167+61000
R. Carter50156-44400
Z. Dalpe15314+0001
T. Bodie59134-76100
T. Kostopoulos17134-13000
J. Matsumoto13202-4400
J. Samson18022+0000
P. O'Sullivan10101-1200
D. Bowman18011+0800
B. Sutter5011-1500
B. Carson13000+7400
B. Rodney3000+0200
C. Ward6934-25-917522192.61.921
J. Peters123-5-1433433.98.875