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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Thursday, December 13th (All times eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (14-11-5) at Philadelphia Flyers (16-10-2), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The struggling Montreal Canadiens will aim for just their third win in 10 games this evening, when they visit the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center.

The Canadiens have dropped five of their last six games and are just 5-8-2 over the past 15 contests.

Montreal's latest setback came Tuesday in a shootout, as Brad Richards scored the only goal in the deciding segment to lead the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning to a 3-2 victory at the Bell Centre.

Alex Kovalev and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens, while Carey Price stopped 29 shots in the losing effort.

Price, a 20-year-old rookie, has been Montreal's top goaltending option since No. 1 netminder Cristobal Huet went down with a groin pull on December 1. Huet will make the trip to Philadelphia, but isn't expected to play until at least Saturday night against Toronto.

Beginning with tonight's test, the Habs will play seven of their next nine games on the road, where Montreal is 9-5-1 this season. However, the two home tests in the stretch will come in Montreal's next two outings.

Meanwhile, the Flyers are coming off an offensive explosion their last time out, as they pounded the visiting Pittsburgh Penguins, 8-2, on Monday.

Joffrey Lupul had a career-best six-point night with a hat trick and three assists and R.J. Umberger also netted a hat trick in the blowout at the Wachovia Center.

The last time two Flyers recorded a hat trick in the same game was on March 7, 1985 when Tim Kerr and Dave Poulin both did it against Washington.

Umberger also added two assists while Mike Richards picked up three helpers for the Flyers, who have two wins in their last three games.

Martin Biron made 20 saves while Mike Knuble had a goal and an assist for Philadelphia.

The game also featured plenty of rough stuff and the team's combined for 156 penalty minutes.

The Flyers ended a five-game losing streak at home and are 7-3-2 in the City of Brotherly love this year.

Montreal slammed the Flyers, 5-2, on November 1 in Montreal to open the season series. The Habs have taken three in a row, four of five and seven of the last nine matchups with Philadelphia.

The Canadiens have also won their last two and four of their previous five trips to Philadelphia.

12/13 10:53:19 ET

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