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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, April 5th (All times Eastern)

Detroit Red Wings (37-26-14) at Montreal Canadiens (44-27-7), 5 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings have picked an excellent time to match their longest winning streak of the season. The club hopes to further solidify its playoff chances with a fifth straight win in Saturday's road test against the Montreal Canadiens.

Detroit is chasing its 23rd straight playoff appearance and the club has certainly boosted the odds of participating in another postseason during its recent four-game win streak.

With 88 points and five games left in the regular season, the Red Wings are three ahead of Columbus for the first of two wild card spots in the Eastern Conference. Toronto is one point in back of the Blue Jackets and New Jersey is two behind the Maple Leafs.

Detroit scored three times in the first period against visiting Buffalo on Friday and then held on for a 3-2 victory at Joe Louis Arena. Daniel Alfredsson posted a goal and an assist to help lead the offense, as the Red Wings posted their third four-game winning streak of the season.

Tomas Jurco and Darren Helm also scored, while Jimmy Howard had 21 saves for the Red Wings.

"Obviously it was huge for the standings but we still have to get a few more wins here to get in," said Detroit forward Gustav Nyquist. "I feel that every time we win the other teams win too. Everybody lost tonight which is nice to hear but obviously we have to get a few more wins."

The Red Wings haven't won five in a row since a six-game winning streak from Feb. 8-19, 2012.

Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk played for the first time since Feb. 27 on Friday and the star forward registered one shot on net in 17 minutes, 45 seconds of ice time. He had missed 16 games due to inflammation in his left knee. The three- time Selke Award winner has 15 goals and 18 assists in 39 games this season.

Montreal has already clinched a playoff spot and is currently second in the Atlantic Division with a two-point lead over Tampa Bay, which expects to be the Canadiens' likely first-round postseason opponent. Detroit is in fourth place, seven points behind Montreal and five behind the Lightning.

The Canadiens won for the ninth time in 11 games on Friday, slamming the Senators, 7-4, in Ottawa. Max Pacioretty recorded his third hat trick of the season and added two assists for a career-high five points, as Montreal roared back from an early three-goal deficit to beat Ottawa.

Mike Weaver and David Desharnais added a goal and a helper each for the Canadiens, who moved alone into second place and ahead of the Lightning for home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

"We still had confidence," said Pacioretty. "We knew that they had gotten the bounces early on, but obviously you look at the shots and we definitely got some favorable bounces and that's just the way it goes some nights. But it just shows our last two games against them, you're never down and out."

Friday's contest was the first meeting between the clubs since the "Miracle in Montreal" on March 15, where Habs rallied from 4-1 down in the game's final 3:22 to win, 5-4 in OT at Bell Centre.

Andrei Markov and Lars Eller also hit the back of the net for Montreal and Thomas Vanek contributed three assists. Peter Budaj allowed a trio of scores in the game's first six minutes, but recovered to snag the win thanks to 39 saves.

Carey Price expects to start on Saturday and is 3-3-1 with a 2.82 goals against average in seven career games against Detroit. Jonas Gustavsson will get the call in net for Detroit and is 5-2-1 with a 2.16 GAA in nine career games against the Canadiens.

The Red Wings won the first two encounters with the Habs this season before Montreal recorded a 5-4 regulation win in the Motor City on march 27. Five total goals were scored during a wild third period in that meeting, including three by the Red Wings, but the Canadiens were able to hold on for the win.

The Red Wings have won six of the past nine meetings overall and have taken three of the past four encounters at the Bell Centre.

04/05 10:35:53 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
Final
NCSU 60
BSU 54
 
Final
PIT 2
CAR 4
 
Final
CHA 101
GSW 106
 
2nd
UF 43
UNC 58
 
2nd
TULSA 14
ECU 14
 
Final
BOS 102
CHI 109
Final
CHA 101
GSW 106
 
4th
TOR 69
DAL 77
 
4th
DET 88
MIL 104
 
4th
ATL 94
NOP 87
 
3rd
HOU 57
LAC 71
 
3rd
OKC 70
NYK 40
 
3rd
IND 66
ORL 55
 
Half
SAN 61
SAC 51
 
2nd
DEN 40
PHO 24
 
10:00pm Tonight
POR
MEM
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIN
Final
WMICH 21
NILL 31
Final
SMU 9
HOU 35
Final
IOWA 34
NEB 37
Final
SFLA 0
UCF 16
Final
MARS 66
WKENT 67
Final
KSU 27
AKR 24
Final
BGU 24
BST 41
Final
UMASS 21
BUF 41
Final
EMICH 16
TOL 52
Final
MIZZ 21
ARK 14
Final
SALABAMA 40
NAVY 42
Final
ARZ 42
ARST 35
Final
AFA 27
COLST 24
Final
UCLA 10
STAN 31
2nd
VT 10
UVA 13
 
2nd
TULSA 14
ECU 14
 
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
Final
KU 82
TENN 67
Final
TEXAM 87
NO 65
 
Final
NCAT 57
RAD 65
 
Final
GEOR 58
BUT 64
Final
BRO 81
PVU 71
Final
RIU 66
SCU 44
Final
NARZ 70
SOUTH 63
Final
DART 68
MAST 67
Final
WRST 59
FIU 61
Final
XAV 73
UTEP 77
Final
OSU 73
JMU 56
Final
TXSOU 71
LAM 59
 
Final
TAMCC 75
MVSU 66
 
Final
AKAN 51
MIZST 55
Final
BUCK 80
PSU 88
 
Final
PROV 72
YALE 66
Final
UGA 62
MINN 66
Final
WISC 69
OKLA 56
Final
Terriers 70
NORST 72
 
Final
PEAY 62
STEPH 83
Final
FSU 58
CSOU 47
 
Final
VALPO 66
DRAK 46
Final
CIN 69
MTST 51
Final
SDU 75
PRIN 65
Final
WASU 76
RICE 74
Final
CSFU 64
USCU 79
Final
GT 61
RIDE 54
 
Final
TXPA 79
ALAST 91
 
Final
NCSU 60
BSU 54
 
Final
TCU 57
BRAD 49
 
Final
WAKE 65
DELST 72
 
Final
HART 83
EMERSON 50
 
Final
STJ 66
GONZ 73
 
Final
CLEM 62
HIGH 59
 
Final
SYR 72
HC 48
 
Final
MD 61
MON 56
 
Final
JVST 74
SAV 71
 
Final
MIAMI 87
SALA 75
 
Final
RUTG 68
VANDY 65
 
2nd
PETE 63
TENST 58
 
2nd
MARS 49
CLST 54
 
2nd
JST 44
HOF 75
 
2nd
INDST 40
MEM 54
 
2nd
UF 43
UNC 58
 
2nd
LATU 59
SAMF 43
 
2nd
TULA 66
SELA 53
 
2nd
NEB 67
TENNM 58
 
2nd
MISS 35
CREI 39
 
2nd
PORT 37
MURST 42
 
1st
MARQ 20
MSU 20
 
1st
ARK 31
UNT 30
 
1st
NCOL 29
STET 18
 
1st
IND 39
UNCG 19
 
1st
SJST 18
WMICH 31
 
1st
MNTST 33
TXARL 24
 
1st
UVA 4
LAS 0
 
1st
STLU 0
MSST 0
 
1st
COLST 5
PAC 0
 
10:00pm Tonight
UTAH
NDAK
10:30pm Tonight
ILL
BAY
10:30pm Tonight
UAB
UCLA
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
MERC
Final
PHI 0
NYR 3
Final
ANA 1
CHI 4
Final
WAS 5
NYI 2
Final
PIT 2
CAR 4
 
2nd Intermission
NJD 4
DET 4
 
2nd Intermission
BUF 2
MON 1
 
Final
CLB 0
VAN 5
 
1st OT
BOS 1
WIN 1
 
3rd
FLA 2
OTT 2
 
2nd Intermission
STL 1
EDM 2
 
2nd
DAL 0
MIN 2