Game preview: MTL vs. DET
CANADIENS (32-21-6) vs. RED WINGS (26-20-12)
With the Olympic break finally over, the Habs will take on the Red Wings at the Bell Centre on Wednesday night.
The Canadiens, who went into the break on the strength of three straight regulation wins, will look to keep their momentum going against Atlantic Division rival Detroit. After a season-worst four-game skid in late January, the team is 5-1-1 in its past seven games. P.K. Subban leads the team in points with 39 in 59 games and Max Pacioretty has a team-best 26 goals in 50 games played.
Goaltender Carey Price, fresh off a gold medal run with Team Canada in Sochi, will get the night off in favour of Peter Budaj. However, the Canadiens will have Alex Galchenyuk and Travis Moen back in the line-up against Detroit. Galchenyuk had been out the past six weeks with a broken hand, while Moen had missed games due to a lower-body injury. Currently injured for the Habs are rookie Michael Bournival (concussion symptoms) and Brandon Prust (upper-body). Both are day-to-day.
The Red Wings have had its share of bad breaks this season, losing key players for months at a time and compiling 12 losses in extra time (including shootouts). In its last ten games, the Wings are 5-3-2, including a 4-2 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning in its past game.
Detroit is expected to activate oft-injured forward Johan Franzen for the game. However, leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg will be out for the near future due to back surgery. Mike Babcock and his staff will also have to do without Jakub Kindl, Stephen Weiss and Cory Emmerton. All three players are currently on injured reserve.
On January 24 2014, the Red Wings beat the Canadiens 4-1 at Joe Louis Arena. However, the Habs won handily against Detroit in the teams’ last match-up at the Bell Centre, coming out top of a 7-2 decision in January 2012.