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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pregame Preview: Canadiens vs Hurricanes (Game #53)

Habs Vs Canes 
Match Up:

The Canadiens (27-20-5) will look to end their 4-game losing streak at home against the Hurricanes (24-19-9) Tuesday night. The game starts at 7:30 and can be seen on RDS.

This is the second of three games between the Habs and Canes, and the only one at the Bell Center. The Hurricanes erased a 3-0 third period lead on New Year's Eve with four straight third period goals, including a pair of Jeff Skinner power play goals to start the rally. PK Subban brought the game back level, but Alexander Semin scored the overtime winner to cap off the comeback for Carolina.

What to Watch:

The Canadiens held a players-only meeting following their 5-0 loss against the Capitals on Saturday. Peter Budaj relieved Carey Price for the second time in three games. The Canadiens have given up 4 goals or more in their last 6 matches, a total of 28 of the 131 goals they've allowed in 52 games this season.

The Hurricanes are trending in the opposite direction of the Habs, they've won their last 4 straight to draw within 2 points of Montreal and are now holding down a playoff spot. A pair of third period goals by Eric Staal followed by the game winner by brother Jordan helped the Canes overcome the Blue Jackets Monday night for a 3-2 win.

What's at Stake:

The Habs are stuck in their worst losing streak and their worst stretch of play all season. They've lost their last four and have gone six games without winning in regulation. Tuesday's game is a chance for the Canadiens to bounce back in front of their home crowd before heading off  to Boston on Thursday. It's sixth and final home game of January, where the Habs have gone 2-2-1 so far this month.

Who's Out:

The Habs are still without Alex Galchenyuk (hand), who should be back after the Olympic break. Ryan White (upper body) and Davis Drewiske (shoulder) are also out.

The Hurricanes are missing starting goalie, Cam Ward (lower body), he hasn't played since beating the Habs a month ago. Anton Khudobin was in nets Monday night, which means young netminder Justin Peters should get the start in Montreal.

What Else:

During the lockout-shortened 2012-2013 campaign the Habs never lost more than 3 straight games, their last 4-game slide started March 23, 2012 when the Canadiens were beaten 4-1 by the Flyers. Daniel Briere was the first star in that game, with 2 goals including the game winner for Philadelphia.

The Question Mark:

Rumors of a Habs trade abounded on Monday. According to TVA's Louis Jean, Colorado's PA Parenteau (25 points in 41 games this season) was on the table for Rene Bourque and another unknown piece. We want to hear from you, how much would you be willing to give up along with Bourque to land a Parenteau type player?

Let us know what you think, leave a comment or send us a tweet by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.

Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren. Join the live conversation by using the #MTLHockey hashtag on Twitter.

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