NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, February 9th (All times eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (29-18-6) at Calgary Flames (30-18-4), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens kick off their longest road trip of the season tonight in a city where they haven't won in seven years, as the team visits the Calgary Flames and Pengrowth Saddledome.
This is the second of two meetings between the Canadiens and Flames this season. Montreal notched a 4-1 home win on December 9 to give the club three wins in its last four meetings with Calgary.
However, the Canadiens haven't posted a victory in Calgary since January 5, 2002. They are 0-2 with a tie in three matchups there since and were defeated 3-2 in their last stop in Calgary on January 19, 2006.
Now might not be the best time for Montreal to attempt to halt its winless drought at Pengrowth Saddledome. The Canadiens play the first of six straight on the road tonight and will be aiming to halt a five-game skid as the visiting club. Montreal is 12-12-2 overall on the road this season.
The Habs have lost seven of their last nine overall and were handed a 5-2 setback by the rival Toronto Maple Leafs at home on Saturday.
Tom Kostopoulos and Matt D'Agostini scored for the Canadiens, while Carey Price made 36 saves in defeat. Montreal has been held to two goals or fewer in six of its last nine games.
The top seed in the Eastern Conference a year ago, the Canadiens now trail first-place Boston by 21 points in the Northeast Division and are just two points up on third-place Buffalo as well. Montreal is fifth overall in the East, a point back of Philadelphia.
The Flames aren't exactly red-hot themselves heading into tonight's matchup. Calgary was defeated by the Anaheim Ducks, 2-1, on Saturday for its season- high fourth straight setback.
Curtis McElhinney gave Miikka Kiprusoff a rare breather between the pipes for Calgary and allowed just two goals on 25 shots in what was his first start since January 18. McElhinney fell to 0-3-1 in six games (4 starts) this year, while the Flames have now lost four straight tests for the first time since January 8-15 of last season.
Calgary will be aiming to avoid dropping five games in a row for the first time since November 1-10, 2007.
Kiprusoff should be back in net tonight, as he has started 48 of Calgary's 52 games this season. He leads the NHL with 30 wins.
Mike Cammalleri got the only goal for the Flames versus the Ducks, giving him 13 tallies over his last 12 games and a team-best 27 on the season. He hasn't scored in five career games versus Montreal, however.
Calgary will wrap a three-game homestand tonight and is aiming for its first win on the residency. The Flames had won 10 of their previous 11 contests as the host prior to this stand and are 19-7-3 at the Saddledome this year.
Despite four straight losses, the Flames still lead the Northwest Division by seven points over Minnesota.
02/09 10:26:59 ET