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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
Local
Final
CHA 115
ATL 100
Final
CAR 3
NJD 1
5:00pm Tonight
CAR
BOS
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUKE
GONZ
 
Final
NYY 2
BAL 10
Final
TAM 6
BOS 9
Final
MIA 1
HOU 1
Final
MIN 7
PHI 1
Final
DET 4
STL 3
Final
PIT 8
TOR 3
Final
TOR 3
ATL 5
Final
NYM 10
WAS 2
Final
CIN 9
CHC 5
Final
MIL 2
CLE 3
Final
CHC 18
COL 4
Final
CWS 4
OAK 10
Final
TEX 2
SDP 3
Final
SEA 8
SFG 9
Final
ARI 5
KAN 10
Final
ANA 4
LOS 5
1:05pm Today
PHI
DET
 
1:05pm Today
WAS
MIA
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
MIN
 
1:05pm Today
STL
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
HOU
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
ATL
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
BOS
TAM
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
BAL
 
3:10pm Today
ANA
CIN
 
4:05pm Today
KAN
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
CLE
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
LOS
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
MIL
 
4:05pm Today
SDP
SEA
 
4:05pm Today
LOS
TEX
 
4:10pm Today
COL
ARI
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
Final
CHA 115
ATL 100
Final
CHI 111
NYK 80
Final
MIL 95
GSW 108
Final
UTA 94
OKC 89
Final
POR 120
DEN 114
12:30pm Today
WAS
HOU
 
3:30pm Today
BRK
LAL
 
4:00pm Today
NOP
MIN
 
4:30pm Today
CLE
PHI
 
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
DET
 
6:00pm Tonight
BOS
LAC
 
7:00pm Tonight
IND
DAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
SAN
MEM
 
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
OKC
 
Final
WISC 85
ARZ 78
Final
YALE 78
CAN 73
Final
KENT 68
ND 66
2:20pm Today
LOU
MSU
 
5:05pm Tonight
DUKE
GONZ
 
Final
WAS 3
NAS 4
Final
NYI 2
ANA 3
Final
PIT 3
ARI 2
Final
BOS 4
NYR 2
Final
PHI 2
SJS 3
Final
DET 4
TAM 0
Final
MON 3
FLA 2
Final
CAR 3
NJD 1
Final
TOR 4
OTT 3
Final
STL 2
CLB 4
Final
MIN 4
LOS 1
Final
COL 5
BUF 3
Final
VAN 3
DAL 4
3:00pm Today
NYR
WAS
5:00pm Tonight
CAR
BOS
 
5:00pm Tonight
NAS
CAL
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
DET
 
5:00pm Tonight
OTT
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
WIN
CHI
 
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
SJS