NHL

Minus Price, Markov, Emelin, Habs visit Blackhawks on TSN

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The Sports Network
4/9/2014 11:49:47 AM
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The red-hot Montreal Canadiens will visit the Chicago Blackhawks, who are looking to extend their longest winning streak in four months, without some of their key players.

Goalie Carey Price and defencemen Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin didn't make the trip to Chicago, with head coach Michel Therrien giving them some rest ahead of the playoffs.

Catch the game on TSN and TSN Radio 690 as the first of a doubleheader, starting at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt.

With Price at home, Peter Budaj will get the start in net for Montreal with Dustin Tokarski backing him up.

The Blackhawks have opened up April with three straight victories, their longest string of consecutive wins since a three-game span from Dec. 8-11. A win tonight would give Chicago its longest winning streak since a six-game run from Nov. 21-30.

Despite the recent success, Chicago if four points behind the Colorado Avalanche for second place in the Central Division. The holder of that spot would earn home-ice advantage over the third-place club in the opening round of the playoffs.

Both the Blackhawks and Avs have three games remaining, with Colorado idle tonight.

Chicago is coming off a 4-2 victory over the Central-leading St. Louis Blues, with Patrick Sharp scoring the go-ahead goal late in the second period and Marcus Kruger following with a goal in the opening minute of the third frame.

Jeremy Morin also scored and added an assist for the Blackhawks, while Ben Smith put the puck into the open net and Corey Crawford came up with 21 saves.

"Very workman-like three games in a row and we got rewarded each night," said Chicago head coach Joel Quenneville. "It was a good week for us and I liked our response to a real tough week prior."

The Blackhawks have won three straight and six of their last seven at home going into tonight's regular-season finale at the United Center. Chicago's final two games are on the road in Washington and Nashville.

The Canadiens, meanwhile, are looking to hold off the Tampa Bay Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division. Montreal is two points ahead of the idle Bolts with three games to go for both clubs.

The Habs may be hitting their stride at the right time, having won seven of eight and 10 of their previous 12 games. That includes Saturday's 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings that saw Montreal rally from blowing a three-goal lead.

Captain Brian Gionta, in his 300th career game with the Canadiens, scored his second goal of the game with 6:47 remaining to put his club back in front after it failed to hold a 3-0 edge. Alex Galchenyuk was credited with an insurance tally with 4:20 to play after Tomas Plekanec's shot deflected off him and in.

Despite squandering the sizeable lead, Gionta liked how his team reacted.

"We let them get back in the game, but we showed a lot of poise sticking with it and not being rattled by their three goals," he said.

Max Pacioretty scored his 39th goal of the season and Carey Price posted 34 saves.

Montreal will play its final road game of the regular season tonight ahead of home meetings with the New York Islanders and New York Rangers. The club also is slated to have defenseman Josh Gorges back in the lineup for the first time since March 5 as he was sidelined with a hand injury.

The Canadiens have won seven of their previous 10 meetings with the Blackhawks, including a 2-1 overtime victory in Montreal on Jan. 11.

Chicago has still managed to win three straight and five of the last seven encounters at home.

Los Angeles Kings at Calgary Flames

The Los Angeles Kings resume their four-game road trip on Wednesday night with a matchup against the Calgary Flames.

Catch the game on TSN as the back end of a double header, starting at 10pm et/7pm pt.

Already locked into third place in the Pacific Division, the Kings have lost the first two contests of this swing and three of their last four overall on the heels of a six-game winning streak.

Los Angeles will visit the division's second-place team in the opening round of the playoffs, currently the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks trail the Anaheim Ducks by three points for the top spot and the two teams clash on Wednesday night.

The Kings, meanwhile, conclude their road trip on Thursday at Edmonton before hosting Anaheim to close the regular season on Saturday.

Los Angeles is coming off Saturday's 2-1 setback to the Vancouver Canucks. Slava Voynov had the lone goal and Jonathan Quick yielded two goals on 40 shots, while Marian Gaborik notched an assist for his 699th career point.

"We played a hard game," said Kings coach Darryl Sutter. "We played really solid."

Defenseman Drew Doughty missed the contest with a bruised left shoulder, snapping his streak of 199 consecutive games played. He returned to practice on Monday, but the Kings are unlikely to rush him back to action given their current place in the standings.

The Flames are hoping to head into the offseason on a roll as they have won three straight for the first time since a five-game run from Jan. 22-Feb. 1. They capped a 3-2-0 road trip with Monday's 1-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils.

Karri Ramo made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season and Mark Giordano scored the game's only goal just 23 seconds into the third period on a power play. The defenseman one-timed the puck from the high slot off a pass from Jiri Hudler.

"It was a tough game and they were in our zone for a lot of time," said Ramo. "But we got the one goal and we're able to make their life harder."

The Flames also are set to host the Winnipeg Jets on Friday before ending the regular season at Vancouver on Sunday.

Calgary has lost six of seven and 10 of its last 14 versus the Kings, and Los Angeles has won six in a row in Calgary. That includes two previous trips there this season.

Peter Budaj (Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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