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NHL: 4 things to watch for Tuesday night


Each Canadian NHL team in action has a reason to be confident on Tuesday night. The Canadiens have home ice for a tasty showdown with the Predators, the Senators like playing in New York, while the Canucks and even the Oilers carry the momentum of victories in their recent starts.

Here are four things to watch in tonight’s games:

Habs, Predators short in goal

Two powerful teams, the Canadiens (28-13-3) and the Predators (30-10-4), will be at less than full strength in goal when they meet in Montreal.

Nashville’s Pekka Rinne is still two to four weeks away after sustaining a sprained knee. Montreal’s Carey Price, who missed the last two games with an upper-body injury, is back practising but not expected to start.

The Habs turned up the offence in a 6-4 triumph on home ice Saturday as Tomas Plekanec enjoyed a four-point night,  including a pair of goals.

The Predators, who reeled off five wins right after Rinne’s injury, fell to Detroit 5-2 on Saturday, but have had recent success in Montreal, winning three of their last four visits.

Senators have Rangers’ New York number

Even though they’re facing a Rangers team that’s coming off a 5-2 victory over Pittsburgh and is on home ice, the Ottawa Senators (18-18-8) have a lot of confidence heading into Tuesday’s game at Madison Square Garden.

They’ve managed to defeat the Rangers (26-13-4) in New York the last seven times they’ve met, and they’ve seen some decent play from Craig Anderson, despite a 3-2 loss Saturday to Carolina. The goalie has fashioned a respectable 6-3-2 record in his last 11 starts.

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has struggled against the Senators, losing all seven of those home games and four of the last five overall. Lundqvist is expected to start, despite smashing his hand against a skate in the Sunday win over Pittsburgh.

Streaking Canucks face tough task

A team finally scored on Ryan Miller after his shutout streak lasted just over 200 minutes, but the Canucks (26-15-3) continued their flawless road trip with a 2-1 win Monday in Florida. Now they’ll tangle with the Lightning (29-14-4) in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The Lighting are chasing a seventh consecutive win on home ice as they battle with the Islanders and Red Wings for Eastern Conference supremacy.

Vancouver also shares top honours with the Islanders for the most road wins — 15. That Monday win over the Panthers saw Radim Vrbata score his team-high 19th goal.

Capitals out to punish Oilers

One of  the Oilers’ young guns, Nail Yakupov, came through Saturday in their 3-2 shootout victory over the Panthers. The 21-year-old was the first to shoot against Roberto Luongo and made good on his chance to end another Oilers losing streak.

Now Edmonton ?(12-26-9) will be facing a Capitals team stinging from a pair of one-goal defeats in its last two outings. Washington (24-13-8) is shooting for an eighth consecutive home victory and has witnessed an upswing in production by Alex Ovechkin, who’s notched 13 points, including nine goals, in his last 10 games.

The Capitals have taken eight of their last nine encounters with the Oilers.

CBC | Sports News

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