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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Wednesday, November 26th (All times eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (11-5-4) at Detroit Red Wings (14-2-4), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Red Wings and Canadiens both had the top record in their respective conferences a season ago, and both are off to solid starts this year. The two teams collide tonight, when Detroit hosts Montreal at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings had an NHL-best 115 points last year and won a Stanley Cup championship after defeating the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games. The Canadiens did not get to represent the East in that title game despite leading the conference with 104 points, as they were defeated by the Philadelphia Flyers in five games in the semifinals.

Detroit is off to another hot start, as it is 14-2-4 and is second in the Western Conference with 32 points, which of course leads the Central Division.

The Red Wings had a five-game winning streak end last time out, but managed to post at least a point in a ninth straight game (7-0-2) after Monday's 3-2 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks.

Mikael Samuelsson had a goal and Pavel Datsyuk tallied in his third straight game for the Red Wings, while Chris Osgood allowed three goals on 24 shots to take the loss.

Detroit, which is 4-1-2 at home, played for a second straight game without Tomas Holmstrom due to back spasms. Holmstrom has 12 points off seven goals and five assists and is out for this game as well.

Montreal is currently second in the Northeast Division and fifth overall in the East with 26 points. The Habs are also coming off a shootout loss, as the New York Islanders capitalized on a big mistake by Montreal to post a 4-3 victory.

The Canadiens led 3-2 with about five minutes left to play and had Carey Price heading to the bench due to a delayed penalty. However, defenseman Ryan O'Byrne went to play the puck back to Price, who wasn't there to stop it from going into the net.

That forced the extra session, and Price was beaten twice in the shootout. He was charged with two goals allowed on 24 shots in the setback.

Steve Begin, Josh Gorges and Maxim Lapierre scored for the Canadiens, who have lost three of four and are 6-3-2 as the road team this year. Montreal will play in Washington on Friday to complete a quick two-game swing.

The Red Wings have won their last two versus the Canadiens, including a 2-0 victory on January 15, 2007 when the clubs last met in Detroit. Montreal has dropped seven of its last eight in Motown.

The Canadiens' 23 Stanley Cup titles are most of any franchise in the NHL, while Detroit's 11 championships are the most of any American franchise.

11/26 11:04:41 ET

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