Game Thread: Habs Look For Fifth Straight Win

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The Montreal Canadiens are on the verge of a 5 game winning streak for the first time this season, and have a legitimate shot at it as the lowly Carolina Hurricanes come to visit.

Montreal has defeated the Hurricanes in both meetings this season and are 7-3 against the Canes the last 3 seasons.

Carolina is having a similar nightmare season to Montreal, also backstopped by their top end goaltender in Cam Ward. Ward isn't having a banner year, but he's under siege every night behind Carolina's weak defensive corps and young forwards. Despite this, Ward owns the distinction of being the only goaltender in the NHL to have recorded all of his team's wins.

The Hurricanes have been hurt by several players failing to meet expectations of GM Jim Rutherford, chief among them Tomas Kaberle, who was traded to Montreal after being used poorly in Carolina and not fitting in. Other major disappointments in Carolina include Zac Dalpe, who was supposed to take a top 6 forward role, and Anthony Stewart, who was recently waived in an attempt to shed his contract.

Similarly disappointing has been Eric Staal, who has struggled to produce offense without his buddy Erik Cole, who's thriving in Montreal.

Travis Moen, Yannick Weber, Andrei Markov, Brian Gionta, Mike Blunden and Petteri Nokelainen make up the injured list for the Habs. Ryan White and Ian Schultz have been called up from Hamilton but it's unclear whether or not they'll play.

Carolina is missing their top defenseman as well in Joni Pitkanen, as well as backup goalie Brian Boucher.

MONTREAL CANADIENS PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Mathieu Darche - Tomas Plekanec - Rene Bourque

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Erik Cole

Aaron Palushaj - Lars Eller - Louis Leblanc

[double shift] - Scott Gomez - Andrei Kostitsyn

Defensemen

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Tomas Kaberle - Alexei Emelin

Hal Gill - Chris Campoli

Raphael Diaz

Goalies

Carey Price - Peter Budaj

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CAROLINA HURRICANES PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Tuomo Ruutu

Jeff Skinner - Jussi Jokinen - Chad LaRose

Andreas Nodl - Brandon Sutter - Patrick Dwyer

Jerome Samson - Tim Brent - Anthony Stewart

Defensemen

Tim Gleason - Bryan Allen

Jay Harrison - Justin Faulk

Jaroslav Spacek - Jamie McBain

Goalies

Cam Ward - Justin Peters

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