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Game Thread: Habs hope for some desert fortune

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Shall we dwell on the fact that the Phoenix Coyotes actually beat the Edmonton Oilers this past Saturday?

Should we be concerned that the Coyotes are 6-0-2 when they score first this season (1-4 when they don’t) and a 7-0-0 when leading after two periods?

Do we have a glimmer of hope in the fact that the Coyotes haven't beat the Habs since December 9, 1998? The Canadiens have gone 9-0-0 with two ties since.

Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said that he watched the game tapes of the Habs 3-1 loss to the Oilers. Wonder if he's picked up on Carey Price's five hole problems?

Center Martin Hanzal has missed the last two games for the Coyotes, and could be ready for tonight's game. Hanzal had 7 points (3 goals) in the three games prior to his injury.

Mike Smith is 5-0-1 in his last six starts for Phoenix and is 2-0-2 (2.11, .929) in his career against the Habs. He and Jason LaBarbera are kept busy, with the Coyotes averaging 32.1 shots against per game (25th).

Price is 4-0-0 with a 1.74 GAA against the boys from the desert.

Mike Cammalleri left practice early, while Andrei Kostitsyn still isn't skating with the team. Scott Gomez has been medically cleared to play but is not in the lineup for unknown reasons.

These moves force Weber back up to the wings and Diaz back into the lineup.

PROJECTED MONTREAL CANADIENS LINEUP

Forwards

Max Pacioretty - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Erik Cole - David Desharnais - Mathieu Darche

Travis Moen - Lars Eller - Aaron Palushaj

Mike Blunden - Petteri Nokelainen - Yannick Weber

Defense Pairings

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Hal Gill - Raphael Diaz

Jaroslav Spacek - Alexei Emelin

Goalies

Carey Price - Peter Budaj

Coyote_medium

PHOENIX COYOTES PROJECTED LINEUP

Forwards

Lauri Korpikoski - Daymond Langkow - Shane Doan

Ray Whitney - Boyd Gordon - Radim Vrbata

Taylor Pyatt - Cal O'Reilly - Mikkel Boedker

Raffi Torres - Kyle Chipchura - Patrick O'Sullivan

Defense Pairings

Keith Yandle - Derek Morris

Rostislav Klesla - David Schlemko

Oliver Ekman-Larsson - Adrian Aucoin

Goalies

Mike Smith - Jason LaBarbera

Canadiens vs Coyotes coverage

Thoughts from the desert at Five For Howling