Habs try to extend win streak vs. Hurricanes

(SportsNetwork.com) – The Montreal Canadiens will try to record their longest
winning streak in a month when they welcome the sliding Carolina Hurricanes
for Tuesday’s clash at the Bell Centre.

Montreal has won its last two games to record its first set of consecutive
wins since beating St. Louis and Boston on Nov. 20 and 22, respectively. The
Canadiens haven’t won three in a row since a season-high six-game tear from
Nov. 5-16.

The Habs should be well rested for tonight, having been idle since routing the
defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings on Friday night. The
Canadiens posted a 6-2 victory over the visiting Kings to go 2-0 at the start
of a five-game homestand.

Montreal slammed the Kings on the scoreboard, but were outshot by a wide 46-20
margin in the game. Habs goaltender Carey Price, who will start again tonight,
stopped 44 shots to lead his club to victory.

Jiri Sekac provided two goals for Montreal, while P.K. Subban notched a goal
and two assists. Andrei Markov and David Desharnais added a goal and a helper
to the winning cause.

Price is 10-5-2 with a 2.35 goals against average in 17 career games against
the Hurricanes, a team that enters Tuesday having lost five straight in
regulation. That marks Carolina’s longest stretch of regulation losses this
season, and it’s the club’s second-worst overall skid of the campaign behind
the season-opening 0-6-2 stretch.

Tonight’s matchup figures to offer little chance at relief, as the Hurricanes
have lost five of six and 10 of their last 14 games against Montreal. The
‘Canes have dropped three in a row and six of seven at the Bell Centre.

Carolina has managed to score only once in each of its setbacks during this
0-5 stretch, getting outscored by a combined 14-5 margin along the way. The
most lopsided loss of the skid came the last time out, as the ‘Canes were
pounded 5-1 in Philadelphia on Saturday.

The Hurricanes allowed the Flyers to take a 1-0 lead just 53 seconds into the
game and Philly would build that lead to 5-1 by the middle part of the second
period.

Anton Khudobin allowed all five goals on just 23 shots, while Eric Staal
scored Carolina’s lone goal at 2:06 of the second period.

“We’ve got to compete, be better defensively, manage the puck, move the puck
better and that will give us a better chance,” Carolina head coach Bill Peters
said.

The Hurricanes, who fell to 3-11-2 as the guest, will try to salvage the
finale of a three-game road trip tonight. Carolina has lost five of its last
six away games.

Cam Ward is expected to return to his starting role between the pipes for
Carolina tonight. The veteran is 15-8-3 with a 2.75 GAA in 26 career outings
against the Habs.

Carolina forward Jiri Tlusty missed Saturday’s test with an upper-body injury
and he is questionable for tonight.