NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 22nd
(All times eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (31-25-6) at Nashville Predators (40-18-3), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Nashville Predators will try to get back on top in both
the Central Division and the Western Conference tonight, when they resume a
four-game homestand by welcoming the Montreal Canadiens to Gaylord
Nashville has fallen out of the lead in both the Central and the West after
Detroit defeated Chicago, 4-2, on Wednesday night. The Red Wings have 84
points and are just one ahead of the Predators.
The Predators were in a similar situation a few days ago when they briefly
fell out of first place after Saturday's loss to Minnesota. However, the club
rebounded to defeat Phoenix on Monday to jump over Detroit. Obviously, that
lead did not last very long.
As for Monday's game, Scott Hartnell scored a pair of early second-period
goals in a 23-second span for the fastest two goals ever scored by any
Predator, as Nashville defeated the Coyotes, 4-1.
Jean-Pierre Dumont had a goal and an assist for the Predators, who improved to
a solid 22-5-3 at home this year and will complete their homestand with a huge
game against Detroit on Saturday.
Tonight's game will mark the third for center Peter Forsberg in a Predators
uniform. Acquired from Philadelphia last Thursday, Forsberg has yet to post a
point with Nashville, but had five shots against Phoenix.
The Canadiens will play the first of two straight road games tonight. On
Tuesday, Chris Higgins and Michael Ryder netted two goals each to guide
Montreal past the Washington Capitals, 5-3, at the Bell Centre.
Higgins, though, is questionable for tonight's game because of a shoulder
Garth Murray added an empty-net goal in the closing seconds and Jaroslav Halak
picked up his second win in as many career starts in net by turning away 15
shots for the Canadiens, who have now won two in a row since losing six
straight. This is the first time in a month that the Canadiens have posted
Halak made 31 saves in his NHL debut Sunday to guide Montreal to a 3-2 win in
Columbus. He was called into action after Cristobal Huet suffered a hamstring
tear in Montreal's 5-2 loss at New Jersey on Wednesday. Huet had surgery to
repair the tear on Sunday and will be out indefinitely.
Goaltender David Aebischer started against Carolina on Saturday, but got the
Montreal is 13-13-3 on the road this year and will play at the Islanders on
Tonight's game marks the first meeting between Nashville and Montreal since
December 18, 2003. The Habs are 5-2-1 (5 wins, 2 losses, 1 tie) in their eight
all-time encounters with the Predators.
02/22 10:47:45 ET