Series (Game 1 of 1)

Montreal leads 1-0

Game 1: Friday, March 5th

Canadiens 4

(35-26-2, 78 pts)

Coyotes 3

(20-27-5, 60 pts)

9:00 PM ET, March 5, 2004

Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona

1 2 3 T
MTL 0 3 14
ARI 0 1 23

A. Markov (Canadiens - D): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

D. Langkow (Coyotes - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

S. Koivu (Canadiens - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Montreal (34-26-6-2) at Phoenix (20-26-15-5) 9:00 pm EST

GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- The Montreal Canadiens try to start a new winning streak and expected to have Alexei Kovalev in the lineup for the first time on Friday when they visit the Phoenix Coyotes.

Kovalev, an All-Star right wing, was acquired from the New York Rangers on Tuesday. The 31-year-old Russian struggled with New York and has just 13 goals and 29 assists in 66 games this season.

The Canadiens also acquired center Jim Dowd from Minnesota on Thursday. Dowd has a plus-6 rating in 55 games this season.

Montreal had a five-game winning streak stopped with Wednesday's 4-3 loss at San Jose. Yanic Perreault, defenseman Andrei Markov and Mike Ribeiro scored for the Canadiens, who yielded three goals on six power plays.

Michael Ryder had a pair of assists and has four goals and six assists in his last eight games.

Phoenix is mired in a six-game winless streak (0-3-1-2) in which it has yielded 29 goals. The latest setback was a 5-4 overtime defeat at Edmonton on Tuesday.

The Canadiens got a pair of assists from Ribeiro in a 4-2 victory over Phoenix in the last meeting on December 7, 2002.