NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, November 18th (All times eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (10-4-2) at Carolina Hurricanes (9-7-2), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens will try to win back-to-back games for the first time in over two weeks when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes for tonight's test at RBC Center.
The Canadiens posted just their second win in six games by picking up a close victory Sunday night in St. Louis. Montreal hasn't notched consecutive triumphs since a three-game winning streak from October 28 to November 1.
Alex Kovalev scored the lone goal of the shootout and Andrei Kostitsyn had a goal and an assist in regulation as Montreal edged the Blues, 3-2, at Scottrade Center.
Robert Lang also tallied, while Carey Price was solid between the pipes, stopping 24-of-26 shots for Montreal.
After the first five shooters were unsuccessful in the shootout, Kovalev skated straight in on Blues goaltender Manny Legace, faked the forehand shot, then put the backhander past the netminder to the glove side just under the crossbar to give the Canadiens the two points.
Montreal won despite going scoreless in 10 chances with the man advantage. The Habs had the best power-play percentage in the NHL during last year's regular season, but are ranked 27th in the category this year, connecting on just 13- percent of their opportunities.
The Canadiens, who are 5-2-2 as the visiting team this year, are playing the middle test of a three-game road trip tonight. They'll complete the swing Thursday in Ottawa.
Carolina ended a three-game losing streak its last time out, as the club opened a four-game homestand with Sunday's shootout win over Tampa Bay. Tuomo Ruutu scored the game-winner in the deciding segment, as the Hurricanes handed the Lightning's new head coach Rick Tocchet a loss in his coaching debut with a 3-2 win.
Ruutu was the first shooter and he buried a wrister past Mike Smith. Vincent Lecavalier went to the backhand and tried to slide the puck between the five- hole, but Cam Ward closed it up. After Rod Brind'Amour flicked a wrister under the glove of Smith, Jussi Jokinen had to score to keep the game alive, but he stopped in front of the net and shot the puck off the left post.
Wade Brookbank and Brind'Amour each had a goal in regulation while Ward made 26 saves for the Hurricanes.
Brind'Amour extended his point streak to five games and has three goals and two assists during the run. The 38-year-old centerman is second on Carolina with 13 points (7 goals, 6 assists) this season.
The Hurricanes are just 4-4-0 as the host this year and ended a two-game home losing streak on Sunday. Carolina will host Phoenix on Friday and Nashville on Sunday to close out the residency.
Montreal earned a home shootout victory over the 'Canes in the first of four meetings between the clubs on October 28. The Habs have taken two of three from Carolina and two straight in Raleigh.
11/18 10:53:12 ET