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Preview: Montreal
(9-10-0) at Nashville (8-8-1) – November 14th,

The Montreal Canadiens will look to
build on their win against Phoenix as they face the Nashville Predators this
Saturday night.  This is the only time these two teams will meet
this season, having played just once last year, with Montreal winning
3-2 at home.  In that game, Andrei Markov, Guillaume Latendresse and Andrei
Kostitsyn scored for Montreal, while Jaroslav Halak stopped 23 of 25 shots for
the win.  Nashville is also coming off a win on Thursday night, and they
are 6-4-0 in their last 10 games.  Montreal is 5-5-0 over that same span.

Pekka Rinne (5-4-0, 2.60 GAA, .916 SV%) and Dan
Ellis (3-4-1, 2.90 GAA, .900 SV%) continue to jockey for the number one job in
net for Nashville, with Rinne starting to emerge as the starter after a mediocre
training camp.  Rinne has won 5 of his last 6 games.  Carey Price (4-7-0, 3.18 GAA, .894 SV%) is fresh off of a
victory from Thursday night, but Halak (5-3-0, 2.62, .904) has outplayed him for
stretches this year.  Tomas Plekanec leads the Canadiens in scoring through
the first 19 games (4G, 13A) and recorded 3 assists in his last game.  He is
followed closely in points by Mike Cammalleri (8G, 8A) and Brian Gionta (8G, 5A). 
The Canadiens improved on their scoring average last game, and now sit 24th in
the league with 2.42 goals per game.  Nashville has been wrought with key
injuries all year, and as a result, have had troubles scoring (29th in the
league, 2.12 goals per game).  JP Dumont (3G, 8A) leads the Predators in
points, despite having only played 10 games, and has just returned from injury. 
Perennial scoring threat and captain, Jason Arnott, has similarly just returned
from injury and will look to make his mark on the scoresheet.  Nashville
has tightened up defensively of late, and now holds an average of 2.76 goals
allowed per game (13th) compared to Montreal (3.00 goals against per game, 21st
in the NHL).

Montreal and Nashville fare about the same
(read: horribly) with the man advantage, with conversion rates of 17.2% and
11.1% respectively.  Nashville’s league-worst powerplay has only scored 7
times, and Shea Weber has accounted for 3 of those goals.  Montreal went 2
for 2 with the man advantage last game, and Glen Metropolit, Marc-André
Bergeron, Cammalleri and Gionta all share the lead with 2 powerplay goals on the
year.  Nashville’s penalty-killing is among the league’s worst, and is
ranked 24th (78.3%), while Montreal falls in slightly better at 17th (79.3%). 
Montreal’s penalty-killing has been better of late, going perfect the last 2
games, and 90% over the past 5.

Andrei Markov (ankle), Ryan O’Byrne (knee),
Georges Laraque (back), Matt D’Agostini (concussion) and Hal Gill (foot) are all
out with injury while Jaroslav Spacek (undisclosed lower-body) is questionable
for tonight after allegedly being kicked by a Coyote last game.  If he
can’t play, it is assumed that Mathieu Carle will draw back into the lineup
after being a healthy scratch the past 2 games.  Nashville will be
missing highly-touted Colin Wilson (groin).  This game marks the first time
Francis Bouillon will be facing his old team since signing with Nashville in the
off-season.  The last four meetings between the two teams have been decided
by one goal, and 2 of them have gone to shootouts.  Latendresse has 3 goals
in his 3 career games against Nashville, while Gomez has 10 points (3G, 7A) in
11 games.

The puck drops at 8:00 EST and can be seen on

This preview was written by Matt