NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, February 27th
(All times Eastern)
Montreal Canadiens (12-4-3) at Toronto Maple Leafs (12-8-0), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Montreal Canadiens will try to get on the board in
their season series with the Toronto Maple Leafs, as the Original Six rivals
get together for Wednesday's battle at Air Canada Centre.
Montreal hosted the first two of five meetings between the clubs this season
and lost both in regulation. The most recent encounter on Feb. 9 was ugly as
Toronto pounded the Habs 6-0 at Bell Centre. James Reimer earned the shutout
with 37 saves and Phil Kessel contributed a goal and two assists to the
The Maple Leafs have won five of the last eight contests in this historic
rivalry, but Montreal has taken two in a row and three of the past four games
One thing that will be different from the last matchup is the Canadiens won't
have to face Reimer this time around. The goaltender is close to returning
from a sprained left knee, but he is expected to miss Wednesday's game.
Ben Scrivens has made seven straight starts in Reimer's absence and is 4-3-0
in those outings. He turned aside 23 shots on Monday to help the Maple Leafs
hold on for a 4-2 victory at Philadelphia.
Mikhail Grabovski scored the eventual deciding goal in the third period and
Jay McClement later sealed the win with an empty-netter. Phil Kessel and
Nikolai Kulemin also lit the lamp for Toronto.
"You have to give our guys credit," said Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle.
"They battled and went toe-to-toe with a pretty good hockey team over there."
Toronto is playing three of its next four games on home ice and has won three
straight at Air Canada Centre to improve its record as the host to 4-4-0.
The Canadiens have lost two of their last three contests, but have earned a
point in eight straight games (6-0-2) since the Feb. 9 rout against the Leafs.
Montreal dropped a 2-1 shootout decision at Ottawa on Monday. Peter Regin
scored the winner in the fifth round of the shootout and Ben Bishop made 44
saves to continually frustrate the Canadiens.
"The result was not in our sight," Montreal coach Michel Therrien said.
"Bishop was outstanding. I liked the way we played. We competed, we played
hard. We were aggressive on the puck. We had traffic; we hit (three) posts.
For me, it always about how we're going to play, and I believe we played a
good hockey game."
Andrei Markov scored the lone goal for the Canadiens, while Carey Price
stopped 23-of-24 shots in defeat.
Montreal had won three straight on the road prior to Monday's loss. The Habs
are 4-1-2 as the guest this season.
Habs forward Rene Bourque is expected to miss a third straight game with a
concussion on Wednesday. Forwards Colton Orr and Mike Brown are both
questionable for Toronto with lower-body injuries.
02/27 10:41:01 ET
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