The Carolina Hurricanes, (3-12-4), put an end to their franchise tying worst 14 game winless streak on Sunday with a shootout win over the Minnesota Wild. Will they start a new streak tonight? The team is in a building where they have had a lot of previous success as they face the Montreal Canadiens, (9-11-0).
The Canes are 7-0-1 at the Bell Centre and have not lost in regulation in Montreal since December, 2003. Erik Cole usually enjoys much personal success against the Habs as well and averages a point a game against them in the regular season, (21 points (13G and 8A), in 21 games).
Tom Kostopoulos and Sergei Samsonov will return to their former haunts as both served time playing for the Canadiens, but with different fanfare. Samsonov is looked upon with disdain by many of their fans for being a perceived bust, but Kostopoulos was a fan favorite.
The Hurricanes announced that Michael Leighton will start in goal for them for the second straight game. The goalie has Montreal ties himself as he was claimed off the waiver wire by the Habs in 2007. But he never played a single minute for the franchise and was eventually acquired by Carolina for a 7th round draft pick on draft day in the summer of 2007.
Here is an interesting article about Leighton's brief stint in Montreal.
Carey Price will be in net for the Habs after making a record tying 53 saves for them against Nashville on Saturday. The team still lost, 2-0.
|2009 - Michael Leighton||4||205||1||2||16||4.68||96||80||.833||0|
|2009 - Carey Price||13||739||4||8||38||3.09||395||357||.904||0|
The Canadiens have several new faces after trading away or walking away from old mainstays like Saku Koivu and Alex Kovalev. But big name acquisitions Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta have not exactly worked out as planned. Gionta is presently out with a lower body injury. (Habs Inside/Out)
They are led in scoring by Tomas Plekanec and Mike Cammalleri.
|2009 - Tomas Plekanec||20||4||13||17||3||10||1||0||0||0||48||8.3|
|2009 - Mike Cammalleri||20||8||8||16||7||12||2||0||1||0||68||11.8|
Ray Whitney and Jussi Jokinen lead the lowest scoring team in the NHL in points.
|2009 - Ray Whitney||17||6||7||13||-2||6||1||0||0||0||33||18.2|
|2009 - Jussi Jokinen||19||4||7||11||-6||12||1||0||1||0||31||12.9|
The Canes are still suffering through a number of injuries. Eric Staal, Cam Ward, Scott Walker, and Joni Pitkanen did not make the trip. Stephane Yelle and Aaron Ward are both expected back in the lineup.
The team will probably slide Tim Conboy in the fourth line with Yelle and Kostopoulos and continue to play Bryan Rodney on defense in place of Pitkanen. The lines should look like the following:
- Sutter, Whitney, Cole
- Cullen, Ruutu, Jokinen
- Brind'Amour, Samsonov, LaRose
- Yelle, Kostopoulos, Conboy
Habs Inside/Out reports the Montreal lines as following:
If you are interested in even more in depth information about the Canadiens, check out Habs Eyes on the Prize.
Peter Laviolette might be gone, but one of his traditions apparently was deemed worth keeping. The Hurricanes will have some extra incentive as several fathers joined the team for the road trip and will hang out with the boys over the course of their two-day adventure. We will link to more information about the trip as the Hurricanes release photos and related information.
There is no local television for the game tonight, but you can tune in to Center Ice for the French feed. Or of course you can listen to Chuck on 99.9 The Fan. We will have the open thread going here starting at 7. The puck drops at 7:30.