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Canadiens seek home win against Blue Jackets on TSN

The Sports Network

11/24/2009 10:58:38 AM

After an eventful off-day Monday, the Montreal Canadiens have to refocus their efforts back to the ice, where they will host the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Bell Centre, in a game that can be seen live on TSN and TSN HD at 7:30pm et/4:30pm pt.

The Canadiens were busy on Monday with the league's announcement of a five-game suspension for forward Georges Laraque because a knee-on-knee hit on Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall on Saturday.

The club also announced the trade of forward Guillaume Latendresse to the Minnesota Wild for forward Benoit Pouliot.  With Pouliot being injured for a few days, the Canadiens recalled Sergei Kostitsyn from the AHL.

The Canadiens have been out of action since Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Red Wings. Detroit scored a pair of goals in the first period, but Mike Cammalleri forced extra time with two third-period goals before Montreal fell in a shootout.

Andrei Kostitsyn had a pair of assists and Carey Price made 32 saves for the Canadiens, who had won their last two and lost after regulation for the first time this season (11-11-1).

"It was important to maybe finish it off in the shootout or an overtime win," Cammalleri said. "But the point was important considering the way the first period started."

Montreal was without Scott Gomez due to a lower-body injury suffered on Friday versus Washington. He is questionable for tonight's game.

Columbus has won two straight over Montreal, including a 4-3 shootout win at home last year, and is 2-0 with a tie in its last three trips to the Bell Centre.

Columbus' 21-year-old goaltender Steve Mason is going through the dreaded "sophomore slump" in 2009-10, posting an 8-5-3 mark, 3.59 GAA and .885 save percentage in 17 starts. He failed to make it out of the second period in last night's 7-4 loss to the Rangers, allowing four goals on 18 shots.

Columbus netted the contest's first two goals, getting tallies from Derek MacKenzie and Jared Boll, but the Rangers responded with seven straight goals, including three in the first and four in the second. Kristian Huselius and Jakub Voracek added the other tallies for the Blue Jackets, who have lost two straight but failed to record at least one point for only the second time in November (6-2-2).

"The momentum changed after New York scored that second goal," said Columbus head coach Ken Hitchcock. "We made mistakes -- we were light on the puck, our top players weren't very good. [When that happens], we're not going to win."

Mathieu Garon, who allowed three goals on 15 shots in relief of Mason, could earn the start tonight. Garon has lost his only career start versus the Canadiens, allowing three goals on 31 shots faced.