Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Next Up >>>>>> Kovalchuk and The Thrashers

Although they are in comfortable position in the Eastern Conference standings, the Montreal Canadiens have been suffering through some inconsistent play in goal recently.

The Canadiens look to get back on track Tuesday when they host the struggling Atlanta Thrashers
Montreal (33-21-9) has dropped consecutive games at home after winning four straight, following a 5-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday with a 3-0 defeat Saturday to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Montreal was 0-for-6 on the power play on Saturday en route to its first shutout loss since Jan. 19, and fourth this season, frustrating coach Guy Carbonneau.

"I could accept losing and goals against when teams are working for them, but when you give them away, it's a different thing," Carbonneau said. "I've never seen a team shut down with no shots during a game, shots happen."

Despite the recent losses, the Canadiens enter the finale of their four-game homestand just three points behind Northeast Division leader Ottawa, and four points back of New Jersey for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. However, they are just 5-6-0 in their last 11 games while allowing 38 goals.

Cristobal Huet has been in goal for six of those games, starting five, going 2-4-0 with a 4.31 goals-against average in that span. Carey Pricehas fared a bit better, going 3-2-0 with a 2.60 GAA in seven games - six starts.
Huet is 4-2-2 with a 2.05 GAA in his career against Atlanta (29-30-4).

The rookie Price (whogets the call tonight) has faced the Thrashers only once, stopping 31 shots in a 3-2 shootout loss at home on Oct. 30.

All three games between Montreal and Atlanta this season have been decided in shootouts. The Thrashers won the first two, but lost 3-2 at home on Jan. 17.


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