Ducks host Habs in clash between last-place teams
A pair of last-place clubs will get together this evening at the Honda Center, where the visiting Montreal Canadiens will take on the Anaheim Ducks.
Montreal is last in the Northeast Division and will begin a three-game road trip in California against the Ducks, Sharks and Kings. The Canadiens, who are 6-5-0 as the guest, have lost two straight and four of their last six games, including Saturday's 4-3 overtime setback versus the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Travis Moen and Max Pacioretty both scored first-period goals and Erik Cole tallied in the second period for the Canadiens, who blew a 3-1 lead and got 38 saves on 42 shots from goaltender Carey Price. Price allowed a goal by Kris Letang 2:09 into overtime.
"It was just a bad goal," said Pacioretty, who leveled Letang late in regulation. "It's frustrating for us because we lost an assignment. We had a 3-1 lead and let it slip away."
Pacioretty was suspended for three games without pay by the National Hockey League on Monday for the hit on Letang. He will not be eligible to return until the Canadiens face the Columbus Blue Jackets on December 6. Habs defenseman Andrei Markov could return to the ice Wednesday and has been sidelined all season with right knee inflammation. Center Scott Gomez (groin) is doubtful for tonight.
Anaheim will resume a six-game homestand tonight and hopes to put the brakes on a seven-game losing streak. The Ducks haven't dropped eight in a row since a club record-tying eight-game slide from November 3-20, 2005.
The Ducks fell to 1-8-3 this month with Sunday's 5-2 loss versus the Toronto Maple Leafs, as Francois Beauchemin and Corey Perry had a goal apiece and netminder Jonas Hiller made 23 saves.
"We seem to be dead between the ears. We're not thinking," Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle said. "This is not going to be accepted what's going on right now."
Carlyle's team has just two wins over the last 18 games and is currently mired in a five-game home losing streak. The Ducks are 4-8-0 as the host this season and sit last in the Pacific Division.
Anaheim goaltender Dan Ellis is doubtful for Wednesday with a groin injury.
Montreal and Anaheim are meeting for the only time this season and the Ducks won last year's matchup, 4-3, in a shootout north of the border. The Ducks have won four of the previous five encounters with the Canadiens.