Mar 15, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Francis Bouillon (55) celebrates with his teammates after his game-winning goal in overtime against Ottawa Senators at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal Canadiens Look For Fourth Straight Win As They Host Columbus Blue Jackets

Mar 18, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens left wing Thomas Vanek (20) celebrates his goal against Colorado Avalanche with teammate center David Desharnais (51) during the third period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens hit the Bell Centre ice tonight looking to extend their winning streak to four games when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Montreal is fresh off a 6-3 dusting of the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night, led by a Thomas Vanek hat trick and a trio of goals from the fourth line of Brandon Prust, Travis Moen and Dale Weise.

Mar 18, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens right wing Brandon Prust (8) celebrates his goal against Colorado Avalanche with teammates defensemen Andrei Markov (79) and Alexei Emelin (74) during the third period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The winning streak has the Canadiens battling with the Tampa Bay Lightning for second in the Atlantic Division. Both teams have 83 points in the standings, though the Lightning have one game in hand.

The Canadiens currently have a 20-11-5 record as the home team this season, and are 5-1-1 in their last seven games in Montreal.

The Blue Jackets are riding a hot month of March to make a push for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They are 6-2-1 in their past nine and now sit eighth in the Eastern standings. The Blue Jackets are 16-15-3 as the guest this season.

Columbus is trying to fight off the suddenly hot Washington Capitals and the Detroit Red Wings for the final playoff spot. The Jackets are led once again by Vezina Trophy winning goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. The Russian netminder has a 2.49 goals against average and a .919 save percentage.

Mar 18, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Colorado Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere (35) makes a save against Montreal Canadiens center Daniel Briere (48) as Colorado Andre Benoit (61) defends during the second period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

This will be the third meeting between the Habs and Jackets this season. Montreal won both thus far, defeating the Blue Jackets 5-3 in Montreal in October, and winning the rematch 3-2 in a shootout a month later in Columbus.

Brandon Prust left practice early today with an upper body injury, and will not play tonight. Michel Therrien did not elaborate on Prust’s situation except to say he is day to day. Ryan White will draw in on the fourth line to fill in for Prust.

Canadiens Forwards:

Max PaciorettyDavid Desharnais – Thomas Vanek

Daniel BriereTomas PlekanecBrendan Gallagher

Alex GalchenyukLars EllerBrian Gionta

Travis Moen – Ryan White – Dale Weise

Canadiens Defense:

Francis BouillonP.K. Subban

Andrei MarkovAlexei Emelin

Jarred TinordiMike Weaver

Carey Price

 

 

 

 

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