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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, February 6th (All times Eastern)

Vancouver Canucks (27-22-9) at Montreal Canadiens (30-21-6), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Head coach John Tortorella hopes to finally lead the sliding Vancouver Canucks to a win on Thursday when they visit the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

Tortorella recently returned from a 15-day suspension for his actions in a game against Calgary on Jan. 18 and has been behind the bench for the last two of Vancouver's string of five consecutive regulation losses.

The Canucks went 2-4-0 while Tortorella was serving a suspension for trying to start an altercation with Calgary head coach Bob Hartley in between periods. Since returning, the fiery head coach has seen his club lose 2-0 in Detroit on Monday and 3-1 the following night in Boston, but he does believe the Canucks are making small steps in the right direction.

"I'm not interested in moral victories and all that," said Tortorella after Tuesday's loss against the Bruins. "We lose another game, but as a coach I have to try and hang my hat on that I see some improvement on our club within the structure of a lot of areas of our game."

Vancouver was only able to get one of its 28 shots past Tuukka Rask on Tuesday and the club's lone goal was scored by Raphael Diaz, who made his debut with the Canucks after coming over in a trade with Montreal on Monday. Diaz will face his former team for the first time tonight and forward Dale Weise, who was shipped to the Canadiens in exchange, will get the same opportunity against the Canucks.

Roberto Luongo made 29 saves to drop his third straight decision between the pipes.

"Good teams find a way to collect points and we're not doing that right now," Luongo lamented.

Despite their recent struggles, the Canucks are still hanging onto the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference. However, they are only a point in front of Phoenix and Dallas and two ahead of the Winnipeg Jets.

Vancouver will play its final two games before the NHL breaks for the Olympics on the road. The Canucks are 0-3 on a five-game trek that is set to end Saturday in Toronto and the club is 13-13-4 as the guest this season.

The Canadiens are 3-1-1 over their last five games and were able to halt a two-game slide their last time out, beating the visiting Calgary Flames by a 2-0 score on Tuesday.

Carey Price was the star for Montreal in the win over the Flames, as he posted 27 saves for his fourth shutout of the season. Calgary had won five straight games before running into Price.

"We played pretty well in our own end," Price said. "We limited their scoring chances and that's the biggest reason why we won tonight."

Rene Bourque got Montreal on the board with 3:45 left in the second period, while David Desharnais added an empty netter in the final minute.

Weise failed to reach the scoresheet in his first game with the Habs, but he did register three shots on net and three hits in 12 minutes, 45 seconds of ice time.

Montreal, which will play its last game before the Olympic break Saturday at Carolina, enters today's action tied with Toronto for third place in the Atlantic Division. The Canadiens currently hold the tiebreaker due to having played one less games than the Maple Leafs, who are occupying the seventh of eighth playoff seeds in the Eastern Conference.

The Canadiens posted a 4-1 win at Vancouver on Oct. 12, giving Montreal wins in two straight and five of the past six meetings in this series. The Canucks had lost three straight in Montreal before snapping that slide with a shootout win on Dec. 8, 2011.

02/06 11:07:42 ET

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Scoreboard
NBA
8:00pm Tonight
CLE
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
OKC
Final
KNST 53
NKENTUCKY 78
 
2nd
CITA 69
ETST 71
 
Half
GWEBB 44
CSOU 37
 
Half
VMI 36
CHAT 31
 
Half
BRY 29
CCST 34
 
Half
PBY 34
CCAR 23
 
Half
DREX 28
DEL 35
 
Half
UNCA 41
HIGH 42
 
Half
TEMPL 29
HOU 34
 
Half
EKENT 29
JVST 23
 
Half
WRST 28
UWMIL 26
 
Half
MSU 41
MINN 36
 
Half
RFLSH 30
MNTER 26
 
Half
OSU 42
NEB 24
 
Half
MAST 36
NEOM 28
 
Half
ELON 28
NE 27
 
Half
LIB 32
RAD 30
 
Half
FD 40
SHU 44
 
Half
UNCG 36
SAMF 33
 
1st
LIU 28
Terriers 25
 
Half
TENN 30
VANDY 19
 
Half
RMU 44
WAGN 29
 
Half
FUR 19
WCU 24
 
Half
IUPUI 34
WILL 25
 
Half
CAMP 30
WINT 25
 
Half
MERC 25
WOFF 35
 
1st
APP 8
GSOUT 22
 
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UNT
CHAR
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MURST
EILL
 
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MARS
FIU
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WKENT
FATL
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UWGB
 
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NDST
 
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NARZ
 
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RICE
ODU
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MON
RIDE
 
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SIUE
 
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UTEP
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SMISS
TXSA
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TENST
TENNM
 
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CHIST
GRCN
 
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SALA
LAMON
 
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WLVRN
 
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UGST
 
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ARKST
TXARL
 
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TXST
TROY
 
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COL
ARZ
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PURD
RUTG
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MEM
SMU
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NCOL
SUTAH
 
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MORE
TENT
 
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EWASH
MNTST
 
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PORT
BYU
 
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CSNO
CSFU
 
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IDAHO
MONT
 
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SCU
PAC
 
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UCSB
UCD
 
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CPSL
UCI
 
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UTAH
ARST
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STAN
ORST
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GONZ
SDU
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USF
GAELS
 
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
LBSU
 
1st Intermission
NYR 1
ARI 3
 
1st Intermission
CLB 1
MON 3
 
1st Intermission
BUF 1
VAN 1
 
1st
FLA 0
CHI 1
 
1st
TOR 0
PHI 0
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
STL
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NAS
MIN
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SJS
DET
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LOS
OTT