Series (Game 2 of 2)

Montreal leads 2-0

Game 1: Tuesday, November 9th
Game 2: Tuesday, February 22nd

Canadiens 3

(32-22-7, 71 pts)

Canucks 2

(38-14-9, 85 pts)

Coverage: RDS

10:00 PM ET, February 22, 2011

Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

1 2 3 T
MTL 2 1 03
VAN 0 1 12

C. Price (Canadiens - G): Saves: 37, Save Pct.: .949

R. Kesler (Canucks - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 1

B. Gionta (Canadiens - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Canadiens-Canucks Preview


The Vancouver Canucks haven't lost in regulation at home to an Eastern Conference opponent all season while the Montreal Canadiens haven't earned a point on the road against a team from the West.

The odds are even more in favor of the league-best Canucks since they have won their last eight home meetings with the Canadiens heading into Tuesday night's matchup.

Vancouver (38-13-9) is 6-0-1 at home against the East while Montreal has lost all six road games against the West in regulation. The Canadiens (31-22-7) are 0-7-1 at Rogers Arena since a 4-3 victory Nov. 30, 2000.

Montreal has been outscored 8-1 in the first two games of this three-game trip, falling 4-1 at Calgary on Sunday in the outdoor Heritage Classic. The Canadiens realize that salvaging the finale won't be easy.

"We need a better effort," right wing Brian Gionta said. "They're a tough team (Vancouver) and it's going to be a tough game for us. We need to find a way to turn things around here and make sure we're playing the way we need to play."

This could be an intriguing matchup of No. 1 goaltenders if Vancouver's Roberto Luongo and Montreal's Carey Price both start.

Luongo is 11-0-3 with a 1.81 goals-against average in 14 home starts since his last regulation loss there, 3-2 to St. Louis on Dec. 5. The Montreal native is 3-3-0 with a 1.70 GAA in six starts against his hometown team since joining the Canucks in the 2006-07 season, winning both games at home.

Price is a British Columbia native who likely has bad memories of his past trips home. He did not start in the Canadiens' 2008-09 visit despite having more than 800 fans in attendance, and he gave up all seven goals before being pulled in a 7-1 loss Oct. 9, 2009.

The All-Star goalie punched a wall in the dressing room after that defeat.

"It was pretty disappointing not being able to play, but this is even more disappointing," he said afterward.

Price was in a much better mood after his 34-save performance in a 2-0 home victory over the Canucks on Nov. 9, saying it was a game he "really wanted to win."

He'll likely get another chance to slow down NHL points leader Daniel Sedin (77) and brother Henrik, third in the league with 72. The twins combined for six points in Saturday's 5-2 win over Dallas.

"I think we had a pretty strong game," Luongo said. "We put together 60 minutes of good hockey, which is huge. Given with our injuries, I thought the guys played well both offensively and defensively."

Luongo was referring to a weakened defense, with Dan Hamhuis and Keith Ballard out. Both skated before the game and could return soon.

The Canadiens are getting healthier. Left wing Mike Cammalleri played his first game in a month Sunday after separating his shoulder, and assistant captain Hal Gill was back in the lineup after missing four games with an upper-body injury.

Paul Mara made his season debut Sunday for Montreal, which re-acquired the defenseman in a trade with Anaheim on Wednesday. Mara played 42 games with the Canadiens last season.