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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, March 8th (All times Eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (35-23-7) at San Jose Sharks (40-17-7), 10 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Canadiens were unable to pick up a win in Thomas Vanek's debut, and the Habs hope to avoid a third loss in four games when they shoot for a rare win in San Jose on Saturday.

The Canadiens acquired Vanek from the New York Islanders just before Wednesday's trade deadline and the Austrian winger played his first game with Montreal in Thursday's 5-2 loss at Phoenix. Vanek failed to register a point and had one shot on net in the setback.

Vanek, a four-time 30-goal scorer, does have six goals in eight career games against the Sharks and he'll try to lead Montreal to its first win in San Jose since a 3-2 overtime win on Nov. 23, 1999.

The Habs have lost six in a row at the Shark Tank since that victory over 14 years ago and have dropped seven of the past 10 overall meetings in this series.

Although the Canadiens have lost two of their last three games, the club is currently in playoff position in the Eastern Conference thanks to its status as the second-place team in the Atlantic Division. The top three clubs in each division earn an automatic bid to the postseason and the Canadiens are currently three points ahead of third-place Toronto in the Atlantic.

The Canadiens were handed a 5-2 setback in the desert on Thursday, as Radim Vrbata scored two goals to help Phoenix snap a 14-game winless streak against the Canadiens.

Andrei Markov and Alex Galchenyuk had the goals for Montreal. Peter Budaj allowed five goals on 23 shots in defeat.

With No. 1 netminder Carey Price still on the shelf with a lower-body injury, the Habs could go with Budaj again tonight.

Montreal has a 17-13-2 record as the guest this season and is capping a four- game road trip tonight.

The Sharks, meanwhile, are 6-2-1 since the start of February and the second- place club in the Pacific Division is coming off Thursday's 5-3 home win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. Brent Burns scored twice during San Jose's four-goal third period as the Sharks downed the top team in the Eastern Conference, beating the Pens for the 11th straight time on home ice.

Joe Pavelski assisted on three San Jose goals and Antti Niemi stopped 19 Pittsburgh shots. The Sharks trailed 2-0 after the first period, but cut that deficit to one by the end of 40 minutes before surging to the win in the final stanza.

"We got physical and that just totally turned the game," said Sharks captain Joe Thornton.

The Sharks are playing the third test of a four-game homestand on Saturday and will complete the stay at SAP Center with Tuesday's meeting against Toronto.

San Jose boasts a phenomenal 23-4-4 record on home ice this season.

03/08 11:04:59 ET

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Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
Final
WASH 10
ARST 24
Final
HAW 18
NEV 26
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14