Alex Tanguay and Carey Price have joined Saku
Koivu, Chris Higgins and Georges Laraque in the Canadiens infirmary. Tanguay was
originally expected to miss a month of play thanks to a separated shoulder but
after being re-evaluated he will miss at least six weeks. Carey Price has
another lower body injury but according to Guy Carbonneau is not the same one
that sidelined him for six games last month.
Kyle Chipchura, Yannick Weber, Max Pacioretty and Marc Denis have all be
recalled from the Hamilton Bulldogs and with the exception of Denis, may all be
able to get a crack at the line up over the next couple games. Kyle Chipchura
will play for sure today as Carbonneau will need a center with Ben Maxwell now
back on the farm. Carbonneau will decide sometime today who is needed more as
the 12th forward. If it should be Weber he may see some action on the power play
similar to the role Mark Streit played last year.
The Devils have been missing Martin Brodeur since November 1st but it has not
hampered their winning percentage as they have posted a 15-10-1 record without
the league’s greatest goalie. Scott Clemmensen has carried the bulk of the load
in goal posting a 13-6-1 record. Clemmensen is also ranked 5th in goals against
average and 8th in save percentage.
The Devils have won 5 of their last 8 games but only two of their last 5 at
Jaroslav Halak will be in goal for the Canadiens. Halak is 5-5-1 this year and
has won his last two starts but Halak has always been better at home than on the
road. That trend has continued this year; despite winning his first start on the
road in Toronto he has failed to do it again this season as he has lost 3
straight on the road.
The Devils are 1-0 against the Canadiens this year as they picked up an overtime
win December 6th. Matt D’Agostini scored the lone goal for the Canadiens. Jamie
Langenbrunner replied for the Devils before Zach Parise iced the game with Alex
Kovalev in the box for tripping.
1. The Devils magic number seems to be 3 for goals that is. The Devils
have won their last 7 games in which they score 3 or more goals. On the flip
side of the coin they have just 1 win in their last six when scoring 2 or less.
2. The Devils have won 6 of the last 7 Friday games with the Habs and
have held the Habs to 2 or fewer goals in 6 of those contests including 2
3. Alex Kovalev has 46 points in 65 career games against the Devils but
has an atrocious –20 rating in those 65 games.