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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Sunday, March 9th (All times eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (38-22-9) at Anaheim Ducks (38-25-7), 8 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens will try to close out their Western swing on a positive note tonight, when they visit the Anaheim Ducks for an interconference battle at the Honda Center.

The Canadiens opened their four-game trek with a setback in San Jose, but have since notched wins at Phoenix and Los Angeles. Overall, Montreal has won five of its last six and nine of its last 12 games.

The Habs are currently first in the Northeast Division with 85 points and hold a two-point lead over second-place Ottawa. Montreal is also just one point behind New Jersey for the top seed in the Eastern Conference and has a chance to take over the lead today, as the Devils are idle.

Montreal notched its latest victory Saturday afternoon in LA, as the Canadiens pounded the Kings, 5-2, at the Staples Center. Guillaume Latendresse posted a goal and an assist to lead the way for the Habs.

Patrice Brisebois, Saku Koivu, Andrei Kostitsyn and Tom Kostopoulos also tallied for the Canadiens. Roman Hamrlik collected two assists, while Jaroslav Halak, making his first start of the season, finished with 35 saves.

Montreal has an impressive 22-10-4 as the visiting team this year and has won five of its last six on the road. After tonight's test, the Canadiens will begin a four-game homestand, beginning with Tuesday' showdown with the Devils.

The Ducks will try to halt a two-game slide when they take the ice tonight. Anaheim had won six straight and 11 of 12 contests before hitting the recent stumbling block.

Anaheim has 83 points on the year and is in the thick of the Pacific Division and Western Conference races. The Ducks are third in the division and four points behind Dallas. They are also the fifth seed in the West and trail San Jose by three points for the fourth spot.

Both setbacks in the current slide came on the road for Anaheim, which is just 16-17-3 as the visiting club this season. The Ducks, who have a stellar 22-8-4 record at home, are playing three of their next four games in Orange County.

Anaheim's most recent defeat came in a close contest Thursday night at Colorado. Jose Theodore stopped 27 shots to record his second shutout of the season and 25th of his career, as the Avalanche blanked the Ducks, 1-0, at the Pepsi Center.

Jonas Hiller allowed one goal on 30 shots for the Ducks, who were shut out for the second consecutive night after losing 3-0 at Chicago on Wednesday. Anaheim has been held without a goal over the last 130 minutes and one second of play, but hasn't been shut out in three straight games since the 1993-94 campaign.

The Ducks have won two of the last three meetings with the Canadiens overall, but Montreal has come out on top in four of its previous six stops in Anaheim.

03/09 11:02:26 ET

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