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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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Local
Final
CREI 65
NCCU 45
 
Final
NCSU 68
SFLA 65
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MIA 94
CHA 93
 
Final
MIA 94
CHA 93
 
Final
MEM 107
LAC 91
 
Final
BOS 88
POR 94
 
3rd
OKC 53
GSW 56
 
9:30pm Tonight
LAL
DEN
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
 
2nd
WVU 50
UCONN 44
 
2nd
CALST 56
DEL 42
 
2nd
HOW 69
HOOD 33
 
2nd
OSU 90
SHU 41
 
2nd
VANDY 64
TENST 34
 
1st
NE 38
MAN 19
 
1st
COLST 33
MERC 24
 
1st
MISS 25
NARZ 24
 
1st
WASH 23
PAC 20
 
1st
LMU 29
SDCHR 16
 
9:00pm Tonight
CHAR
MIAMI
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
ODU
9:00pm Tonight
GAELS
UCI
10:00pm Tonight
UCLA
LBSU
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
MONT
 
Final
WIN 2
STL 4
2nd
NYR 3
MON 0
 
1st
ANA 0
ARI 0
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
CHI
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
1st
NYG 0
DAL 0