NHL Extras
More NHL
NHL Odds
More Hockey
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 Entertainment Center.

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 injury.

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 back-to-back wins.

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 loss.

Montreal is 13-13-3 on the road this year and will play at the Islanders on Saturday.

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

NHL News
· Leafs retain Gardiner with 5-year deal

· Blues ink F Mueller

· Fontaine inks two-year deal with Wild

More News