SPORTS

NHL: 5 things to watch for Monday

12/29/2014 12:55 EST | Updated 02/28/2015 05:59 EST
There's little time for resting, relaxing or celebration between Christmas and New Year's for several Canadian NHL teams as five hit the ice Monday, including a trio of clubs riding two-game win streaks.

Habs getting hot again

With twice as many wins as losses on the season, the Canadiens continue a five-game road trip against the Carolina Hurricanes after opening the road swing with a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders. After stumbling a bit in early December the Canadiens have regained their stride winning five of their last six.

The Canadiens are hoping to keep their momentum going facing the Hurricanes, whom they defeated in Montreal 13 days ago. Alex Galchenyuk remembers that game well as he scored his first career hat trick in the 4-1 triumph.

The Hurricanes are set to welcome Jordan Staal back to the line-up after Staal sustained a broken leg in a pre-season game.

Leafs must forget meltdown

The suddenly porous Maple Leafs need to turn the page on Sunday night's third period meltdown that saw them fall to the Florida Panthers, 6-4, after entering the period with a 4-2 lead. James Reimer was in goal to feel the pain of the onslaught, but of late it hasn't made much difference in he, or Jonathan Bernier was between the pipes for the Leafs.

In dropping four of their past five games, the Leafs surrendered 21 goals and that includes the lone win, a 4-0 shutout over

Monday matches the Leafs against the Lightning in Tampa, a battle of the league's top two scoring teams. Steven Stamkos has always been effective against Toronto with 27 points in 22 games.

Jets starting to climb

Defensively proficient, the Jets are discovering some offence of late as they skate on home ice against the Minnesota Wild after stopping the Wild 4-3 on Andrew Ladd's overtime score Saturday.

That's two wins in a two for the Jets who have fashioned a 7-1-3 mark through their last 11 contests. Meanwhile the Wild have dropped a season-high five games in a row.

Sens turn to hot hand

Naturally the Senators are not pleased to have lost their last three games but they do like their Monday match-up at home taking on the Buffalo Sabres.

Not because the Sabres haven't improved dramatically, because they have, going 11-6-1 in their past 18 games, but the Senators like the record goaltender Craig Anderson has compiled against the Sabres. Anderson's topped them in each of the last eight meetings.

Buffalo is coming off a 4-3 shootout win over the Islanders on Saturday.

Flames aim to burn Kings again

The hot-and-cold Calgary Flames snapped a recent cold spell with a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings last Tuesday. Mark Giordano, the Flames' leading scorer, had the winner in that one.

Calgary built on that success with a 4-1 decision against Edmonton Saturday that's positioned the Flames just outside a playoff spot in ninth place in the Western Conference.

The Kings, who have the same number of points as the Vancouver Canucks but have played two more games, were winners against San Jose on Saturday, 3-1.

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