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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Thursday, October 24th (All times Eastern)
Anaheim Ducks (7-2-0) at Montreal Canadiens (5-4-0), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Anaheim Ducks will try to rebound from their second loss of the season when they visit the Montreal Canadiens for Thursday's showdown at the Bell Centre.
The Ducks had a seven-game winning streak halted in a 4-2 loss Tuesday in Toronto. The Maple Leafs used Phil Kessel's fourth career hat trick to hand Anaheim its first loss since getting routed in the season opener against Colorado on Oct. 2.
Anaheim had tied a franchise record for most consecutive wins before dropping the first game of a seven-game road trip on Tuesday. Mathieu Perreault and Nick Bonino scored for the Ducks, while Jonas Hiller gave up all four goals on 23 shots.
"We got some great goaltending again, but we weren't able to be there for Jonas," Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy said.
Anaheim is a perfect 5-0-0 on home ice this season, but the loss in Toronto dropped the club to 2-2-0 on the road. All seven games on the Ducks' current swing are against Eastern Conference teams.
The Ducks have won their last three games in Montreal and are 5-0-1 in their past six overall games against the Canadiens. Anaheim forward Saku Koivu, who served as the Canadiens' captain from 1999-2009, is returning to Montreal for the second time in a Ducks' uniform. He posted an assist in a 4-3 win for Anaheim at the Bell Centre on Jan. 22, 2011.
Montreal also will try to get back in the win column on Thursday after losing two straight in regulation on the heels of a four-game winning streak. The most recent setback came in Tuesday's 4-3 home loss to the Edmonton Oilers, who scored four unanswered goals to overcome an early 2-0 deficit.
Carey Price gave up all four goals on 32 shots, but he will be back between the pipes on Thursday. Price is 0-2-1 with a 3.70 goals against average in four career appearances against the Ducks.
Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher scored first-period goals for the Canadiens on Tuesday, but Montreal wouldn't get another marker until Brian Gionta tallied to make it a 4-3 game with just three seconds left in the third period.
"We played well in the first period and followed the game plan ... but then we didn't follow the game plan the next two periods," Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien said. "We opened the door, and they took advantage of it."
Montreal is 1-2-0 so far on a five-game homestand and will close the residency when it welcomes San Jose on Saturday.
The Canadiens are dealing with a rash of injuries at the moment, as forwards Danny Briere, Max Pacioretty, George Parros and Brandon Prust are currently sidelined along with defensemen Davis Drewiske, Alexei Emelin, and Douglas Murray.
10/24 10:53:43 ET