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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, March 27th (All times Eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (41-26-7) at Detroit Red Wings (33-25-14), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The surging Montreal Canadiens will take aim at their seventh win in eight tries when they begin a four-game road trip with Thursday's clash against the Detroit Red Wings.

The Canadiens have won three straight and six of their past seven games, pushing them two points ahead of Tampa Bay for second place in the Atlantic Division. However, the Lightning, who host the New York Islanders on Thursday, do hold two games in hand over the Habs.

Detroit, meanwhile, enters Thursday as one of four teams tied for the last two playoff berths in the Eastern Conference.

With 80 points, the Red Wings are seven in back of Tampa Bay for last of the Atlantic Division's three automatic playoff berths, meaning they'll likely need to claim one of the East's two wild cards to qualify for a 23rd straight postseason.

Columbus, Detroit, Toronto and Washington each have 80 points, but the Red Wings are the only team of that group in action on Thursday. The Blue Jackets and Red Wings have 10 games remaining in their regular-season schedules, while the Capitals and Maple Leafs have nine and eight games left, respectively.

Detroit, which will try to halt a two-game slide on Thursday, hasn't missed the playoffs since 1990.

The Red Wings had a three-game winning streak snapped with Sunday's overtime loss against visiting Minnesota and then fell 4-2 in an important road clash with Columbus on Tuesday.

Cam Atkinson scored the winning goal for the Blue Jackets in the third period of Tuesday's game, but the decisive tally did not come without controversy.

Columbus grabbed a 3-2 lead at 6:58 of the third period. The team skated the other way on a 2-on-1 and Matt Calvert let fly with a shot from the right wing that Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped before Atkinson knocked in the rebound. However, the net was dislodged by Atkinson before the puck crossed the line, but Brendan Smith had pushed Atkinson into the net and the refs ruled it a good goal.

"They knocked the net off and they still score," a frustrated Howard said. "I guess it's something to remember in the back of our minds, you knock the net off it, just throw (the puck) in there. It should count."

Ryan Johansen sealed the win for Columbus with an empty-net goal in the closing seconds.

Gustav Nyquist had both goals for the Red Wings, while Howard made 24 stops on 27 shots.

Beginning with Thursday's test, Detroit is playing four of its next five games on home ice. The Red Wings are only 15-11-10 as the host this season, but the club had won four straight in the Motor City before losing Sunday's game against the Wild.

Montreal picked up its third straight win in Tuesday's home meeting against the lowly Buffalo Sabres. Max Pacioretty broke a scoreless deadlock with 9:07 to play and Carey Price posted a 24-save shutout to lift the Canadiens to the 2-0 win over the basement-dwelling Sabres.

Danny Briere added an insurance marker with Montreal on the power play at 16:54 of the third, while Price stood tall down the stretch to help kill off a late Canadiens penalty and secure his fifth shutout of the season and 24th of his career.

"The goal is to make the playoffs," Briere remarked. "We're in control of our destiny and trying to rack up as many points as we can."

The Canadiens won despite playing without forwards Travis Moen and Dale Weise, who were injured on the same shift in Monday's 2-1 shootout win in Boston. Both players are questionable for Thursday's game.

Detroit is 2-0 against the Habs so far in 2013-14 and the clubs will meet once more in the regular season when Montreal hosts the Red Wings on April 5. The Red Wings have won four of five and six of eight overall in the series and have come out on top in the last two encounters at Joe Louis Arena.

Montreal is opening a four-game road trip on Thursday and boasts a solid 20-14-2 record as the visiting club this season.

03/27 11:02:28 ET

Other Stories

  • NFL: Chicago at Detroit

    Thursday at 12:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Dallas

    Thursday at 4:00 pm on FOX50

  • SEC: Arkansas at Missouri

    Friday at 2:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • HSFB: Football Friday with Tom Suiter

    Friday at 11:35 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Baltimore at New Orleans

    Tonight at 9:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. Furman

    Wednesday at 5:00 pm on 620am

  • CBB: NC State vs. Richmond

    Wednesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Hurricanes at Florida

    Wednesday at 7:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
12:00pm Today
UWGB
ECU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
 
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
Final
MEM 107
LAC 91
Final
BOS 88
POR 94
Final
OKC 86
GSW 91
Final
LAL 94
DEN 101
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
ORL
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
PHO
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
NYK
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
IND
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
CHI
 
Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
Final
ARKLR 94
CSNO 88
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
Final
FAIR 80
SD 72
Final
EMICH 79
LONG 48
Final
ND 74
PROV 75
Final
RAD 88
CATAWBA 52
 
Final
DEN 80
COPST 54
 
Final
UAB 58
JST 50
 
Final
WICHS 105
NWM 57
Final
OKLA 90
NWST 68
Final
KSU 59
YALE 66
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
Final
UCR 102
STKAT 49
 
Final
PSU 63
USC 61
Final
HC 101
NICHOLSCOL 70
 
Final
BC 53
DAY 65
Final
MON 75
TOWS 79
Final
HOF 93
WAGN 71
 
Final
CIN 54
EILL 49
Final
UGA 74
FATL 61
Final
BRAD 58
NCAT 50
 
Final
LATU 76
PBY 48
Final
RUTG 76
Terriers 73
 
Final
SAMF 64
UMKC 55
Final
NAVY 70
BING 68
Final
SHU 85
GWEBB 67
Final
UNT 58
IONA 78
Final
KENT 86
MNTST 28
Final
FORD 57
MLOWELL 64
 
Final
UCF 76
USCU 69
 
Final
SCAR 63
AKR 68
Final
WVU 78
UCONN 68
Final
CALST 70
DEL 52
 
Final
HOW 78
HOOD 51
 
Final
OSU 106
SHU 48
Final
VANDY 78
TENST 46
Final
NE 65
MAN 51
Final
COLST 75
MERC 62
Final
MISS 80
NARZ 74
Final
WASH 76
PAC 69
Final
LMU 82
SDCHR 60
 
Final
CHAR 58
MIAMI 77
Final
GAELS 72
UCI 69
Final
ILLST 64
ODU 45
Final
UCLA 77
LBSU 63
Final
SEAT 62
MONT 66
 
12:00pm Today
UWGB
ECU
 
1:30pm Today
WEBER
NEV
 
2:30pm Today
FRES
EVAN
 
2:30pm Today
KYST
PURD
 
4:00pm Today
LSU
CLEM
 
4:00pm Today
ALCOR
DILL
 
4:30pm Today
CHIST
UGST
 
4:30pm Today
DET
MDES
 
5:00pm Tonight
ARZ
MIZZ
 
5:30pm Tonight
INDST
PEAY
 
6:00pm Tonight
FLGC
MAR
 
6:00pm Tonight
LALAF
UWMIL
 
6:30pm Tonight
ODU
GWEBB
 
7:00pm Tonight
MD
ARST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BUCK
 
7:00pm Tonight
JMU
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
WINT
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7:00pm Tonight
GSOUT
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7:00pm Tonight
BST
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
APP
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7:00pm Tonight
MAST
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7:00pm Tonight
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7:00pm Tonight
WAKE
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7:00pm Tonight
MSU
SCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
SAV
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENT
SELA
 
7:00pm Tonight
VCU
VILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
OU
WCU
 
7:30pm Tonight
IND
EWASH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILL
BRO
 
8:00pm Tonight
MSST
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8:00pm Tonight
BEL
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8:00pm Tonight
TCU
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8:00pm Tonight
IOWA
PEPP
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
PVU
 
8:00pm Tonight
KU
RIDE
 
8:00pm Tonight
BAY
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
INCWORD
A
 
8:30pm Tonight
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HAW
 
8:30pm Tonight
OKST
ORST
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
YALE
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAM
PITT
 
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
SHU
 
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
STET
 
9:30pm Tonight
ISU
ALA
 
9:30pm Tonight
SDKST
CHADRON
 
9:30pm Tonight
NCOL
CCHR
 
9:30pm Tonight
OREG
MICH
 
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
WMICH
 
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SIUE
 
11:00pm Tonight
AUB
TULSA
 
11:30pm Tonight
SDST
BYU
 
Final
WIN 2
STL 4
Final
NYR 5
MON 0
Final
ANA 2
ARI 1
Final
VAN 4
CHI 1
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
PHI
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
PIT
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
OTT
 
Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
Final
NEP 34
DET 9
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
Final
CHI 21
TAM 13
Final
PHI 43
TEN 24
Final
SEA 19
ARI 3
Final
SDC 27
STL 24
Final
DEN 39
MIA 36
Final
SFX 17
WAS 13
Final
NYG 28
DAL 31
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NYJ
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
BAL