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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, December 17th (All times Eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (18-9-5) at Montreal Canadiens (20-12-3), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Phoenix Coyotes hope to begin a four-game tour of Atlantic Division cities with a win, as they visit the struggling Montreal Canadiens for Tuesday's battle at the Bell Centre.

The Coyotes enter this road trip having posted a solid 3-1-1 mark over their last five game as the guest, but that may not help them tonight in Montreal, where Phoenix hasn't won since Oct. 28, 1996. Since that 5-4 overtime win from over 17 years ago, the Coyotes are 0-5-1 with a pair of ties when visiting the Habs.

Phoenix's last win of any kind in this series came in the desert on Dec. 9, 1998. Montreal is 10-0 with three ties over the last 13 meetings against the Coyotes.

The Coyotes will try to bounce back from a loss tonight after having a two- game win streak snapped in Saturday's 3-1 home setback against Carolina. Jeff Skinner scored the game-winner three minutes into the final period to lift the Hurricanes past Phoenix.

Paul Bissonnette notched his first goal of the season for the Coyotes, while Mike Smith allowed two goals on 32 shots in defeat.

"Every play counts and it came down to one faceoff and one loose puck that we lost and it ends up that's the one that's the difference in the game," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said. "We had some good chances, some chances to capitalize in the third and we didn't do it."

Phoenix, which is 8-6-3 as the guest this season, will also visit Toronto, Ottawa and Buffalo during this trip.

Montreal enters Tuesday just three points behind Boston for first place in the Atlantic, but the Canadiens have lost three of their last four games. The Habs last played on Sunday, when they dropped a 2-1 regulation decision against the visiting Florida Panthers.

The Canadiens trailed Florida 2-0 heading into the third period on Sunday before Alex Galchenyuk scored a power-play goal 2:28 into the final stanza to cut the deficit in half. However, that was as close as Montreal would get, as it fell to 11-7-2 as the host this season.

Peter Budaj stopped 23 shots in the loss. After the contest, Habs coach Michel Therrien blamed Montreal's lackluster effort on fatigue.

"We played 11 games in less than three weeks. Energy-wise, I could tell that they're drained," said Therrien. "When you're at that level, there's no juice. Their execution isn't there and so what we've been asking of them hasn't been done well."

Tuesday's test is the last home test of the 2013 calendar year for the Habs, who will play their next six on the road before hosting Ottawa on Jan. 4.

12/17 10:55:21 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
Final
PIT 0
CAR 10
 
5:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
7:35pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CIN 7
CHC 2
Final
DET 3
NYY 2
Final
SFG 4
COL 1
Final
BAL 5
TAM 4
Final
NYM 1
ATL 6
Final
CWS 2
CLE 3
Final
KAN 5
MIN 11
Final
HOU 4
TEX 2
Final
ANA 4
OAK 3
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
MIN
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
BOS
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
PHI
 
7:35pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
DET
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
TEX
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
CHC
 
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
COL
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
LOS
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
WAS
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
MIL
 
Final
SCAR 28
TEXAM 52
Final
LAMON 17
WAKE 10
Final
MISS 35
BSU 13
Final
TULSA 38
TULA 31
Final
WASU 38
RUTG 41
Final
ARST 45
WEBER 14
Final
VANDY 7
TEMPL 37
7:00pm Tonight
UCONN
BYU
7:30pm Tonight
WKENT
BGU
7:30pm Tonight
MSU
JVST
9:00pm Tonight
COL
COLST
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
TXSANANTO
10:30pm Tonight
ARZ
UNLV
Final
JAC 14
ATL 24
 
Final
BUF 0
DET 23
 
Final
CIN 35
IND 7
 
Final
GBP 34
KAN 14
 
Final
PHI 37
NYJ 7
 
Final
MIA 14
STL 13
 
Final
PIT 0
CAR 10
 
Final
NYG 16
NEP 13
 
Final
TAM 10
WAS 24
 
Final
NOS 13
BAL 22
 
Final
CLE 33
CHI 13
 
Final
DAL 3
DEN 27
 
Final
TEN 3
MIN 19
 
Final
HOU 13
SFX 40
 
Final
SDC 12
ARI 9
 
Final
OAK 41
SEA 31
 
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
5:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
7:35pm Tonight
NOR
DUR