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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, December 10th (All times eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (18-8-2) at Detroit Red Wings (17-6-3), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens will aim for a fourth straight victory tonight, when they face the suddenly-cold Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena.

While Montreal has won its last three games and allowed a total of three goals over that span, Detroit is mired in its longest skid of the season, a three- game slide that comes on the heels of a four-game winning streak.

After dropping an overtime decision in Los Angeles on Saturday, the Red Wings have lost the first two tests of a three-game homestand. Detroit, which is 10-3-2 as the host this year, had just one home loss in regulation all year prior to this residency.

The Red Wings were dealt a 3-2 setback in their latest outing against the visiting Nashville Predators.

Pavel Datsyuk scored a goal and tallied an assist for the Red Wing. Johan Franzen also scored and Jimmy Howard allowed three goals on 24 shots in defeat.

"There's no excuses. We should be able to play better than we have," Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said. "Tomorrow, we have to practice and get ready for the next game."

Detroit hasn't lost four straight since Feb. 3-11 of last season.

Montreal, meanwhile, has outscored the opposition by a 12-3 margin during its current winning streak and is coming off Tuesday's 4-1 victory over the visiting Ottawa Senators.

Carey Price made 27 stops to improve to 17-7-2 on the year and Jeff Halpern scored the game-winner early in the third period to lift the Habs.

Brian Gionta had a goal and an assist while Roman Hamrlik and Michael Cammalleri each added a goal for the Canadiens, who can match their season- high with a fourth straight win tonight.

"We came out with a good start, but allowed them to come back there in the first period," said Gionta. "Price bailed us out some in the second and it was disappointing that we couldn't take advantage of our power plays in that frame."

Price has been in net for all three wins during Montreal's streak and will likely play tonight. He is 1-1-1 with a 2.27 GAA in his career against the Red Wings.

Montreal has a 7-4-0 record as the guest this year, and counting tonight's test, the Habs will be playing nine out of their next 11 games away from La Belle Province.

The Red Wings notched a shootout victory in Montreal last year in the only meeting between these Original Six foes. Detroit has taken three of four and six of nine overall in the series. Despite winning two of its last three in the Motor City, the Habs still have seven losses in their last nine trips to the Joe.

On the injury front for Montreal, forward Scott Gomez is questionable for tonight with a lower-body injury. He made the trip to Detroit and will likely be a game-time decision.

12/10 10:39:30 ET


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