Carolina Hurricanes (23-19-9) at Montreal Canadiens (27-20-5)
|Date & Time||Tuesday January 28, 2014, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Montreal Canadiens -163 / Carolina Hurricanes +148 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Montreal Canadiens look to end their ugly losing ways as they return home to host the Hurricanes at the Bell Centre.
The Hurricanes are finally starting to make noise after a season and a half of underachieving and before Monday’s encounter with the Blue Jackets (trailing 2-1 at the moment) they had won three straight contests and jumped back into the playoff picture. Carolina was supposed to be a juggernaut heading into last year as they acquired both Alex Semin and Jordan Staal but so far the moves haven’t paid dividends and as such the team has struggled to stay consistent. Carolina brought in Kirk Muller to be their bench boss and he has enjoyed moderate success but the system in place should cater to Carolina’s strengths but we simply haven’t seen the results on a consistent basis. Carolina played a tough game against the Jackets last night and while Anton Khudobin got the nod against Columbus he will likely get the call again here as Cam Ward continues to nurse a string of injuries. Khudobin will match up against Carey Price who has been dreadful in his last four starts but will look to turn things around before the Olympic break.
The Canadiens are on a slippery slope at the moment as they have dropped four straight contests and have slipped into fourth place in the Atlantic division pushing them from the automatic playoff spot that comes with a top three divisional finish. Montreal was at one point right on the heels of the Bruins and Lightning for the division lead but their losing skid has dropped them eight back of the leaders which might be a task too tall to overcome. Carey Price’s play in goal has certainly slipped since he was announced to the Canadian Olympic team but the Habs as a whole have been very poor of late and you can’t fault Price for the way things have turned out over the last four contests. Montreal needs this win in a very bad way and while they have looked atrocious of late and to me they’re an overrated bunch to begin with I don’t see their losing skid hitting five and I think they come back in a big way on home ice.