Series (Game 2 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Tuesday, November 17th
Game 2: Wednesday, December 23rd
Game 3: Wednesday, March 31st
Game 4: Thursday, April 8th

Canadiens 5

(18-18-3, 39 pts)

Hurricanes 1

(9-22-6, 24 pts)

Coverage: RDS

7:00 PM ET, December 23, 2009

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 T
MTL 4 1 05
CAR 1 0 01

T. Plekanec (Canadiens - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 3

J. Halak (Canadiens - G): Saves: 46, Save Pct.: .979

G. Metropolit (Canadiens - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

Canadiens-Hurricanes Preview


STATS Writer

The Montreal Canadiens were heading in the wrong direction when they opened a seven-game road trip. After two games, they're back on track.

The Canadiens look to win three straight on the road for the first time since last season when they face the lowly Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday.

After dropping five straight, Montreal (17-18-3) began its trip Saturday with its first shutout of the season 3-0 over the New York Islanders. The Canadiens were on the verge of losing to Atlanta on Monday, but defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron netted the tying goal with 1:45 left in regulation and scored 2:23 into overtime to give Montreal a 4-3 victory.

Bergeron, though, ran into the goalpost on his final shot and is questionable for Wednesday.

"He wasn't cut. He'll be evaluated," coach Jacques Martin said.

Montreal, which last won three consecutive road games from Dec. 27-30, 2008, has been outshot 90-51 in its last two games, including 50-23 on Monday.

"It was one of those nights again," said Jaroslav Halak, who faced a career-high 50 shots against Atlanta after making 40 saves Saturday. "Many, many shots again. But we were able to win the game. That's all that matters."

If Halak gets the start Wednesday, it will be his first versus Carolina since the Canadiens' last visit to RBC Center a 3-2 loss Dec. 16, 2008, when he made 24 saves.

Carey Price made 30 saves in a 3-2 shootout victory over the visiting Hurricanes on Nov. 17 in the teams' only meeting this season. Price, 0-3-1 with a 3.04 goals-against average in his last four games, is 2-2-1 with a 2.68 GAA in five career starts against Carolina.

Whoever starts in goal will be backed by an offense that has converted 5 of 8 on the power play on the trip. Bergeron and Andrei Kostitsyn each scored with the man advantage Monday.

Kostitsyn has scored eight of his 10 goals this season in the last nine games. He had the tying goal in the third period of the Nov. 17 victory over Carolina (9-21-6), which has an NHL-worst 24 points.

The Hurricanes, though, are 8-8-2 at home. They had a three-game winning streak at RBC Center snapped Monday with 3-1 loss to the New York Rangers.

Sergei Samsonov has scored in consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 5-7, but his go-ahead goal in the second period Monday was countered 28 seconds later by NHL leading goal scorer Marian Gaborik.

"We realize we've got to put a string of wins together in order to make a push," Cam Ward told the Hurricanes' official Web site after making 28 saves. "It's like every other game, we've been in the battle but we just haven't been able to come out on top."

Ward, who will likely start Wednesday, did not play in the Nov. 17 matchup due to injury. He is 9-2-2 with a 2.41 GAA in 13 career starts against Montreal.

Canadiens leading scorer Tomas Plekanec, who matched a career high Monday with four points (one goal, three assists), has one more point this season (40) than he did in 2008-09. Plekanec had two assists in last month's victory over the Hurricanes.