Ducks-Canadiens Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated October 24, 2013
The Anaheim Ducks and Montreal Canadiens would both like to forget about Tuesday night. After both teams blew 2-0 leads in their latest losses, they'll try to bounce back Thursday night in Montreal. The Ducks (7-2-0) won seven in a row before Tuesday's 4-2 loss at Toronto. The streak would still be alive had Anaheim been able to hold a lead after Nick Bonino and Mathieu Perreault each scored their fourth goal of the year. Perreault has goals in consecutive games for the second time this year and has a four-game point streak, but the Ducks were left lamenting a sour start to their season-high eight-game road trip. "We played really good for the first 30 minutes of the game. I mean, as good as we can play," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "But I think the big thing is we just lost our composure for 10 minutes. And we've got to get it back." Goaltender Viktor Fasth has missed three games with a lower-body injury after being hurt in practice last Thursday. That's led to an added workload for Jonas Hiller. After winning his first four starts with a 1.44 goals-against average and .954 save percentage, things haven't gone so well in his last two starts. He allowed four goals on 23 shots in Toronto and was pulled after allowing three first-period goals to Dallas on Sunday, a game Anaheim came back to win 6-3. The Ducks have outshot seven of nine opponents this season and are second in the league with 36.2 per game. Their power play, however, went 0 for 4 Tuesday and is now a league-worst 3 for 36 (8.3 percent). The Canadiens (5-4-0) got first-period goals from Tomas Plekanec and Brendan Gallagher before falling 4-3 to Edmonton at home Tuesday. Three of their four losses have come on home ice, and they've lost back-to-back games for the first time this year. "We can't expect to play one period and win," said right wing Brian Gionta, who scored the Canadiens' third goal with 3 seconds left in the third. "We had a great start, we did what we wanted to, we stuck to our game plan for the first period, and we didn't adjust after that." P.K. Subban assisted on Gionta's goal and now has two goals and nine assists through nine games to lead all NHL defensemen in points after winning the Norris Trophy last season. Gallagher leads the Canadiens with five goals and has scored in consecutive games for the second time in October. The Ducks' Dustin Penner didn't travel with the team to Toronto after being knocked out of the Dallas game with a suspension-inducing hit from Ryan Garbutt. Daniel Briere, the latest Montreal player to be lost to injury, is expected to miss his second game with a concussion. The Ducks are 5-0-1 against the Canadiens since the 2004-05 lockout. They last met on Nov. 30, 2011, a 4-1 Ducks win in Anaheim as Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry each had a goal and an assist. Saku Koivu will play in Montreal for the second time since leaving for Anaheim in 2009-10 after 13 seasons with the Canadiens that included his battle with and return from Burkitt's lymphoma.
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