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NHL: 4 things to know for Thursday

03/05/2015 11:52 EST | Updated 05/05/2015 05:59 EDT
Montreal looks to avoid a California sweep, Vancouver needs Eddie Lack to come up big, Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau returns home and Toronto tries for its second straight win in the state of Florida.

Here are four things to know for Thursday night in the NHL:

Not so bright in California

The Montreal Canadiens continue their Western road trip with a visit to the Los Angeles Kings, who happen to be the only California-based team they've managed to defeat this season. 

Montreal beat the reigning Stanley Cup champions on Dec. 12 by a score of 6-2, despite being outshot 46-20 in the victory with potential Hart Trophy candidate Carey Price in goal.

Unfortunately, Price was in net for Wednesday night's 3-1 loss at Anaheim and Monday's 4-1 loss at San Jose, and has played in seven consecutive games. He's due for a rest. 

Whether or not backup Dustin Tokarski gets the start, Montreal will have to hold off forward Jeff Carter, who has three goals in the past two games.

This is the last of three straight games in California for the Canadiens, who wrap up their four-game road trip in Arizona on Saturday night.

Missing Miller?

Vancouver Canucks goalie Eddie Lack will likely start. Jacob Markstrom was pulled in Tuesday's 6-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks after allowing three goals on four shots. 

The two have allowed 15 goals in four games (2-2-0) since losing Ryan Miller to injury. This could be an issue with Vancouver visiting the Arizona Coyotes.

Arizona holds one of the worst records in the league, but it has a blowout win over Vancouver to its credit. The Coyotes took the first meeting of the season 5-0, while the Canucks won the second 7-1. 

One thing that has remained consistent for Vancouver is captain Henrik Sedin. He's riding an eight-game point streak after scoring both goals on Tuesday, one of which gave him his 900th NHL point. 

Johnny Hockey homecoming

The Calgary Flames visit the Boston Bruins for their fifth of a seven-game road trip. It's the last meeting of the season for these teams, as Calgary claimed the first match on Feb. 16 with a 4-3 overtime victory.

Flames rookie sensation Johnny Gaudreau will have a homecoming of sorts. The 21-year-old played for the Boston College Eagles this time last year before joining Calgary as a regular this season. 

Thursday will also mark the debut of defenceman Dennis Wideman donning an "A" on his jersey. The Flames announced Wednesday that the 31-year-old was added as an alternate captain following Mark Giordano's season-ending injury. 

Leafs' trip continues

The Toronto Maple Leafs are fresh off Tuesday's 3-2 victory over the Panthers that ended a franchise record 16-game winless streak on the road. 

They continue their trip through Florida with a visit to the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are four points behind Montreal for first in the Atlantic division. It's the end of a four-game road string for the Leafs.

The teams split the last two games this season, and Lightning captain Steven Stamkos scored a goal in both those matches. Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk had two goals in their first meeting, a 5-2 victory on Nov. 20. 

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