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Game Preview: Montreal Canadiens vs. Vancouver Canucks

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The Canucks hope to get their first win at home this season, but they'll have to hand the Canadiens their first loss of the year to do so.

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Vancouver Canucks (3-2-3) vs. Montreal Canadiens (9-0-0)

Time 7:00 PM PT TV Sportsnet Vancouver
H2H (2014/15)
Last Meeting 3-1 Canadiens - December 9, 2014
The Enemy Eyes On The Prize Scoring Leaders

VAN: Brandon Sutter (3-3-6)

MTL: Max Pacioretty (7-4-11)

Canucks Category Canadiens
3-2-3 Season Record 9-0-0
9 Points 18
4th Division Position 1st
Lost 4 Streak Won 9
19 Goals For 35
17 Goals Against 12
14.8 Power Play % 22.9
87.0 Penalty Kill % 90.9
31.3 Shots Per Game 32.6
28.9 Shots Against Per Game 31.7

CANUCKS NOTES

Last Game at a Glance

The Canucks remain winless at home after a 3-2 overtime loss to the Red Wings at Rogers Arena on Saturday night. Vancouver had a 2-0 lead in the third period, but Detroit scored two goals in less than three minutes to even things up before Gustav Nyquist delivered the OT winner.

The loss marked the first time in franchise history that the Canucks have dropped five straight games at home to start the season. They'll look to snap that streak tonight against the Montreal Canadiens, the league's hottest team out of the gates.

Canucks Lineup Notes

Vancouver's lineups should look mostly the same with a couple minor tweaks. Willie Desjardins is breaking up the Kid Line, moving Jake Virtanen up to skate with Brandon Sutter and Alex Burrows while Jannik Hansen joins Sven Baertschi and Bo Horvat on the third line. Ryan Miller missed practice yesterday, but is expected to be in net for the Canucks tonight.

Power Play Comes to Life

The Canucks will look to improve on their success while on the power play Saturday night against the Red Wings. Both of Vancouver's goals came while the Canucks had the extra skater on the ice.

In the first period, Chris Tanev delivered a wrist shot from the slot to put Vancouver up 1-0. Then, in the second period, Brandon Sutter scored on a one-timer after some nifty puck movement by the Canucks.

Those two goals improved Vancouver's power play percentage from 8.9% to 14.8%

The Canucks won't have it easy though as the Canadiens have the third-best penalty kill (90.9%) in the league entering tonight.

CANADIENS NOTES

Last Game at a Glance

The Canadiens are coming off a 5-3 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. It was the first time all season the Canadiens gave up more than two goals. Carey Price stopped 49 shots on net to help lead Montreal to their ninth straight win.

A Historic Start

By defeating the Maple Leafs on Saturday and starting 9-0-0, the Canadiens set the NHL record for most consecutive regulation wins to start a season, a mark previously held by the 1975-76 Buffalo Sabres. If they win tonight against the Canucks, they'll tie the NHL record for the longest winning streak to start a season. The 1993-94 Maple Leafs and 2006-07 Sabres also won 10 straight games to start the year.

The Price is Right

You don't win your first nine games of the year without incredible goaltending. That's what the Canadiens have gotten from Carey Price, who has an astounding GAA of 1.29 to start the season. Not surprisingly, that's the best GAA in the league among goalies who have started at least half of their team's games. Price leads the league with seven wins and two shutouts, as well. The Canucks will either need to get creative against Price, or manage to sneak a goal or two past him and hope Ryan Miller can deliver a masterful performance.

Max Pacioretty's Hot Start

The Canadiens lead the league with 35 goals so far, thanks in large part to the hot start from Max Pacioretty. The left winger has seven goals in nine games, including two game-winners. The Canucks will need to keep an extra close eye on Pacioretty if they hope to be the first team in the league this year to beat Montreal.