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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Tuesday, December 11th (All times eastern)

Tampa Bay Lightning (13-14-3) at Montreal Canadiens (14-11-4), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The struggling Montreal Canadiens will try to get back on the right track this evening, when they welcome the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Bell Centre.

The Canadiens have dropped four of five and six of their last eight contests and were slammed at home this past Saturday by Carolina. Ray Whitney scored a pair of goals and added an assist as the Hurricanes crushed Montreal, 5-1.

Montreal has now dropped into third place in the Northeast Division with 32 points on the year.

Andrei Kostitsyn had the only goal for Montreal in Saturday's loss. Carey Price made 26 saves until he was pulled in the third period, when Jaroslav Halak took over and stopped 5-of-6 shots.

Price, a 20-year-old rookie, has been the starting goaltender for Montreal since regular netminder Cristobal Huet has been sidelined with a groin injury. Price has yielded four goals in three of his last four starts, but will likely remain the Habs main goaltending option as Huet is at least a week away from returning.

Montreal is now 0-4-1 in its last five home games and just 5-6-3 as the host this season. The team is ending a brief two-game homestand tonight.

Meanwhile, the Lightning were pounded on Monday night in Toronto, as the Maple Leafs rolled to a 6-1 victory at Air Canada Centre. Chad Kilger scored two goals to lead Toronto to the easy win.

Michel Ouellet scored the lone goal for Tampa Bay, which gave up a flurry of goals after forward Brad Richards left the game with an apparent knee injury midway through the second period. Richards is questionable for tonight's contest.

Johan Holmqvist made 18 saves, and was taken out in favor of Marc Denis, who made five stops.

The loss was Tampa Bay's second in a row, and dropped the team's road record to a dismal 2-11-1, and 0-4-1 in its past five. Tonight's test ends a brief two-game road trip for the Lightning, who will return home for Thursday's game against Calgary.

Montreal has won three of four and six of the last eight meetings with the Lightning. Tampa Bay has also dropped two in a row and three of its previous four tests in Montreal.

12/11 10:28:29 ET

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