Oilers-Canadiens Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 22, 2013
Injuries are mounting for the Montreal Canadiens. The Edmonton Oilers are in no position to offer any sympathy. With Danny Briere and Brandon Prust being added to the lengthy injury list, the Canadiens will try to rebound from their most recent result and beat the Oilers for the second time in less than two weeks Tuesday night. Montreal (5-3-0) has eight players on injured reserve, including another stint by Max Pacioretty (hamstring) - the team's scoring leader in each of the last two seasons. Two more Canadiens went down during Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Nashville, as Briere was lost indefinitely to a concussion while Prust is out four weeks with a right shoulder injury. Despite the absences, coach Michel Therrien isn't looking for a new approach. "We are not going to change our style of play in 24 hours. We'll need to continue on the same path," Therrien told the team's official website. "When you look at the last game, the first half of the game was challenging, but we played well in the second half. We had a lot of scoring chances and we could have won that game. Yes, we're facing adversity, but as a group we like the challenge." The injuries could mean increased ice time for rookie Michael Bournival, who has one point in each of the last two games. He could find himself on Montreal's top line with center Tomas Plekanec and right wing Brian Gionta, who have combined for just seven points. "I really like (Bournival's) quickness. It brings good things to the team," Therrien said. Therrien may also like what he's seeing out of Brendan Gallagher, who scored his fourth goal Saturday. The second-year right wing had gone three games without a point after scoring one goal and assisting on another in a 4-1 win at Edmonton (2-6-1) on Oct. 10. The Oilers won't be offering any compassion to the Canadiens' injury situation since they've got six players on IR after adding star left wing Taylor Hall (knee) - tied for the team lead with eight points - to the list. Hall left in the second period Saturday at Ottawa, but Edmonton got two goals and an assist from Ryan Nugent-Hopkins in a 3-1 victory to improve to 1-3-1 on this six-game road trip. "I know it's his knee," coach Dallas Eakins told the team's official website. "I don't know the severity of it. Our doctors will look at it and let us know. When a guy doesn't come back in the game, usually it's something that's going to be more than a day or two." While Hall is expected to be out, the availability of forwards Jordan Eberle and Ryan Smyth is unclear. Eberle has three goals and three assists on the trip after being held without a point by the Canadiens, while Smyth scored in that meeting. "You can argue he's been our best forward and a big part of our team," Eakins said of Eberle. "We'll cross our fingers that he's good for (Tuesday) but we've got to be careful with that too. We don't want to rush him and make it turn into something bigger. "It's one of those nagging ones." Nugent-Hopkins is tied for the team lead with four goals. He set up Smyth's goal against Montreal earlier this month, but finished that loss a minus-2. The center is a minus-6 on the season.
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