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NHL: 3 things to know for Monday night

10/20/2014 11:52 EDT | Updated 12/20/2014 05:59 EST
A clash of winning streaks, East vs. West, highlights Monday's light NHL schedule involving only four teams.

The Montreal Canadiens, with the best record in the league, top the bill as they open a three-game western swing in Edmonton. The stingy Minnesota Wild, who have surrendered only six goals in six games, come east to battle the New York Rangers.

Here's what you need to know:

NHL-best Habs put win streak on the line

The Canadiens swept a four-game stretch at home to run their record to 7-1, the best in the NHL. They stopped the New York Rangers' three-game winning streak in their latest outing, on Saturday, winning 3-1.

Carey Price started all four games in goal and produced a 1.33 goals-against average in the last three of those victories. However, he has traditionally struggled against the Oilers with a 1-5-1 record against them.

The early-season surprise for the Habs has been the scoring prowess of Tomas Plekanec. He's garnered five goals and four assists in the first eight games after totalling 43 points in 81 games last season.

Eberle breaks out for improved Oilers

The Oilers struggled out of the gate but have put together a three-game winning streak, all against Eastern Conference opponents. Ben Scrivens has been the mainstay in goal for the Oilers, who broke out the offence in a 6-3 victory over Carolina on Friday.

Jordan Eberle, scoreless in his first six games, enjoyed a three-point night, including two goals.

The Oilers have held the upper hand over the Canadiens in recent meetings, with a 12-4-3 record since December 30, 2000.

Wild about Kuemper

The Wild have won two straight to boost their record to 4-2-0, and they've been doing it mainly with defence. 

They broke loose for seven goals Saturday, cooling off the Tampa Bay Lightning, but with six goals allowed in six games, it's no secret how they've been winning.

Darcy Kuemper, the 24-year-old backstop from Saskatoon, is in his third season with the Wild and his excellent play should not be a surprise. He holds a career 2.15 goals-against average and this season has won four of his five starts.

The only drawback for the Wild so far has been their power play, or lack of one. They've started the season 0-for-20 with the man advantage, one of only two teams in the league (Buffalo is the other), not to have a power play goal.

The Rangers haven't been tearing it up on the power play either. They've scored only twice in 22 chances and were shut down in Montreal, 3-1 by the Canadiens on Saturday.

Rick Nash, with eight goals and one assist, was held pointless for only the second time this season as the Rangers fell back to .500 at 4-4-0 after a three-game win streak.

Minnesota stops in New York and Boston Monday and Tuesday but should be bolstered for the Rangers' encounter with the comfort of having split their last 12 meetings.

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