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Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks defends the net against the Nashville Predators at Rogers Arena on December 1, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images)

Derek Leung/Getty Images

Alain Vigneault, hockey oracle, isn't shy about offering his magic prescription to fix an ailing power play - and given the Vancouver Canucks own the NHL's best man-advantage and Thursday's opponent Montreal one of the worst, the Habs had best listen up.

So what's the secret?

"Two, three passes, shoot the puck," he smiled after his team's practice at the Bell Centre.

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Canucks winger Alex Burrows expanded on his coach's formula to ensure a successful power-play: "give it to the Sedins."

Ah yes, well that's not a recommended course of action for the Habs if they want to extend their mastery over the Canucks - they beat Vancouver in both meetings last year.

Last spring's Stanley Cup finalists are rounding into form after their traditional slow start, and have won seven of their last eight games - they are 10-3 since Nov. 4.

The visitors will turn to Roberto Luongo in net, despite the fact the Montreal-born goalie hasn't won in his last three visits to the Bell Centre.

Luongo left his last start after taking a puck in the throat, but has pronounced himself fit - he also batted aside any talk of a goalie controversy involving he and back-up Cory Schneider, whose impressive form relegated the Olympic gold medalist to the bench.

"It's a way bigger deal in the media than it is in this room," he said.

On the Montreal side of the ledger, defenceman Yannick Weber, who was benched after a play that led to an R.J. Umberger breakaway goal in Tuesday's shootout loss to Columbus, will watch from the press box.

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That means rookie Frederic St-Denis will slot in beside Hal Gill, Montreal's lineup is otherwise unchanged from Tuesday.

The Canadiens are 1-0-2 in their last three, but are far from dynamite at home (4-5-5) to this point in the season.

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About the Author
National Correspondent

Sean Gordon joined the Globe's Quebec bureau in 2008 and covers the Canadiens, Alouettes and Impact, as well as Quebec's contingent of Olympic athletes. More

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