MONTREAL – The Wild cruised by the Canadiens 7-1 the last time these two teams met Dec.11 in Minnesota, but the group is expecting a much tougher encore Monday at Bell Centre in Montreal when it continues its four-game road trip through the Eastern Conference.
“That game is totally an anomaly,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Four power plays [and] one shorthanded. I just watched the game again this morning. Only when the score was really lopsided did they sort of give up a little bit, but the first half of the game it was a heck of a game.”
Not only is the Wild vying to sweep the season series, but the team is looking to improve to 3-0 on this trip. Each of its two wins so far have been by a goal, 4-3 finishes over the Maple Leafs and Senators, and being able to eke out two points both times has started to grow the team’s confidence.
“We thought we played well in the last couple weeks and just weren’t getting results,” said goalie Devan Dubnyk, who’s scheduled to start against the Canadiens. “We weren’t getting bounces. Pucks weren’t finding their way in the net, and we were playing well and creating. But nothing is ever going to feel good if you don’t get results.
“To be able to get a couple wins in a row and start feeling good about what we’re doing, that’s what it’s all about. When you start putting some together in a row, that’s what we’re going to need to do.”
Jordan Greenway-Eric Staal-Mikael Granlund
Zach Parise-Charlie Coyle-Luke Kunin
Jason Zucker-Mikko Koivu-Nino Niederreiter
Marcus Foligno-Eric Fehr-J.T. Brown
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Greg Pateryn
Nick Seeler-Ryan Murphy
18: Points the last four games for the Zach Parise, Charlie Coyle and Luke Kunin line.
3: Goals in the last two games for defenseman Jared Spurgeon.
6: Points for Coyle during a four-game point streak.
10: Assists in the last 11 games for winger Mikael Granlund.
8: Consecutive wins for the Wild vs. the Canadiens.
About the Canadiens:
Montreal is a point shy of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference amid a 6-4 showing in its last 10. The Canadiens are coming off a 4-1 loss to the Predators Saturday at home. Overall, the team is 11-8-2 at Bell Centre. Winger Max Domi leads the team in points with 38. Winger Brendan Gallagher’s 15 goals are the most on the Canadiens.