Gomez, Spacek return for Canadiens as they take on Flyers

The Sports Network

12/15/2010 2:39:15 PM

The Montreal Canadiens will have two key players back for tonight's game against the Philadelphia Flyers. Forward Scott Gomez and defenceman Jaroslav Spacek will both be returning to the lineup for the Canadiens.

The game can be seen on TSN at 7:30pm et/4:30 pm pt.

Gomez missed Montreal's last two games after leaving last Tuesday's win over Ottawa with a lower-body injury. Spacek was questionable after getting injured in a fight with the Toronto Maple Leafs' Clarke MacArthur on Saturday.

Gomez will centre the second line alongside recent call-up Max Pacioretty, who will be making his season debut. Pacioretty, who played in 52 games with the Canadiens last year, had 17 goals and 15 assists in 27 games with Montreal's AHL affiliate in Hamilton this season. His 17 goals leads the AHL.

Andrei Kostitsyn, who has 20 points in 30 games this season for Montreal, will play on the fourth line. Although Kostitsyn will still see time on the power play, coach Jacques Martin is sending the 25-year-old a message that he wants him to be involved more often.

Carey Price, who was rested for just the third time in 30 games this season on Saturday, will get the start in net. Alex Auld gave him a breather and gave up two goals on 22 shots in a 3-1 setback at Toronto.

Price is 6-2-0 with a 1.81 GAA in his career versus the Flyers and both of his career shutouts against them have come at home. He is 3-0-0 in three regular- season starts when facing Philadelphia at the Bell Centre, stopping 89-of-90 shots.

He turned in a 41-save shutout at home against the Flyers on Nov. 16, but allowed three goals on 45 shots faced in a 3-2 setback at Philly six days later.

Michael Cammalleri scored his 10th goal of the season and third in four games for the Habs, who have lost their last two games, both on the road. They play their next two at home before a seven-game road trip and are 5-0-1 in their last six at the Bell Centre.

"It obviously wasn't coming easy for us tonight," said Cammalleri, whose club owns a two-point edge over Boston for first place in the Northeast Division. "We were able to dig and put ourselves in a spot to come back, but we couldn't get that other goal."

Montreal has won 12 of the last 16 in this series overall as well as three of four and six of the last eight played at the Bell Centre.

Philadelphia seeks a fourth straight victory while Montreal's Price aims to remain unbeaten in his career at home versus the Flyers in the regular season and prevent his Habs from losing a season-high third game in a row.

In a clash of Eastern Conference heavyweights last night, the Flyers snapped the Penguins' 12-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory, moving them one point ahead of Pittsburgh for first place in the Atlantic Division and NHL standings. Philadelphia is 8-1-3 over its last 12 games and has 45 points on the season.

"We talk about trying to get to the top spot, trying to be the best in the league, and tonight was one of those opportunities," said Flyers coach Peter Laviolette. "It was a great win."

Scott Hartnell's power-play goal in the third period was the game-winner and the Flyers also got scores from Claude Giroux and Nikolay Zherdev. Brian Boucher, making his third straight start, stopped 21 shots.

Boucher is 5-0-1 with a 1.76 goals-against average over his last six starts, but is unknown who will get the call tonight: Boucher, Sergei Bobrovsky or the recently-activated Michael Leighton.

Leighton has yet to play this season due to back surgery, and if he gets the call it would be his first start since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals on June 9.

Philadelphia won't have tough-guy Jody Shelley as he serves the final contest of a two-game suspension for a hit from behind on Boston's Adam McQuaid on Saturday.