- In Carey Price's absence, goaltender Dustin Tokarski was recalled from the AHL's St. John's IceCaps. It will mark the 26-year-old's second stint in Montreal this season. He didn't make any starts with the Canadiens while Price was previously sidelined with a lower-body injury, as Mike Condon was a mainstay between the pipes. Tokarski did come on in relief, though, as he was called into action to replace Condon in the game against the Colorado Avalanche on November 14. He gave up two goals on 13 shots against.
- The Canadiens also placed Alexander Semin on injured reserve, and recalled forward Christian Thomas from the IceCaps. In 18 games wtih Sylvain Lefebvre's squad this season, Thomas amassed seven goals and 14 points in 18 games. The 23-year-old left-winger ranks fourth in points on the IceCaps. He played 18 games with the Canadiens in 2014-15.
- Therrien confirmed that Mike Condon will get the start against the Devils. It will mark Condon’s 12th start of the season. The rookie netminders is now 7-2-2 in his NHL career, with a .916 save percentage and 2.16 goals-against average.
- Condon was the only goaltender on the ice on Thursday as the team has not yet called up a netminder from St. John’s.
Lines and defense pairings at practice
- Defenseman Jarred Tinordi was reassigned to the AHL's St. John's IceCaps for conditioning purposes on Thursday. He will join the team in Rochester where he should suit up to battle the Americans on November 27. The IceCaps will also be in action against the Toronto Marlies on November 28 and 29.
Tinordi still hasn't played a game with the Canadiens during the 2015-16 campaign as of yet. Last year, he split his time between the NHL and the AHL, playing 44 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs and 13 with Montreal, where he amassed two assists with the big club. Tinordi also registered seven points in 44 games with Hamilton, while putting up a minus-9 differential.
NEW YORK – The Habs will look to grab sole possession of the top spot in the East when they face the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night.
- It’s been nearly a month and a half since the Habs and Rangers last met during the Canadiens’ 3-0 home opening win at the Bell Centre. In that span, both teams have continued their respective ascents to the top of the standings, now sitting tied at 24 points apiece with the potential to become the No. 1 team in the NHL with a crucial two points up for grabs at MSG. It may only be November hockey, but Max Pacioretty expects a playoff atmosphere when the teams hit the ice in Manhattan.
“Both teams have had a lot of success the last couple of years, this year especially, so this is set up to be a very entertaining game. They have a pretty similar system to us. They don’t give up much defensively while they have speed on the transition,” explained the Habs captain, whose team is facing a red-hot Rangers squad that has gone 9-1-0 in its last 10 games. “The two similar styles are going to clash and hopefully it’ll make for some good hockey tonight
“In the past couple of years with the playoff series between the two teams and a couple of great games, I do see it as a rivalry,” he added. “It’s maybe not one that’s recognized as much as Toronto or Boston, but I see it that way. It’s going to be a tight-checking, hard-nosed game.”
- In addition to the similar systems employed by the two Eastern powerhouses, both teams can also count on some equally elite netminding in the match up. With the reigning Vezina, Jennings, Ted Lindsay, and Hart Trophy winner between the pipes at one end of the ice, and the league’s current save percentage, goals-against, and wins leader at the other, Pacioretty has a few ideas when it comes to solving Henrik Lundqvist in the pending goaltending duel.
“Take away his eyes – the only way to beat him is if he doesn’t see it,” shared the 27-year-old sniper, who leads the team with 11 goals so far this season. “It seems like everything he’s seeing these days, he’s stopping. You have to get second and third chances against a goalie like that and just hope for the best.”
- After missing the last five games with a lower-body injury, Alexei Emelin will be making his return to action on Wednesday night in place of Greg Pateryn, who dished out 18 hits and finished with a plus-1 differential in those five games.
“Pateryn played really well in Emelin’s absence. I spoke to him this morning to explain my decision and he understood,” said Michel Therrien, who did not confirm if Emelin would slide back into his spot next to Jeff Petry or join Tom Gilbert on the blue line against the Rangers. “Emelin plays an important role on our back end. We have a lot of depth on defense so someone will always have to sit. Pateryn is a young defenseman who wants to establish himself in the NHL. When he got his opportunity, he did a great job.”
- Having been called up on Saturday in time to suit up for the Canadiens’ 4-2 win over the Islanders on Sunday, Sven Andrighetto will get his first taste of the Madison Square Garden crowd when he hits the ice for his second NHL game of the campaign. Impressed with the rookie winger’s performance in his 2015-16 debut, linemate Lars Eller is hoping to see more of the same from Andrighetto against the high-flying Rangers squad.
“It’s two teams who don’t give up a ton of scoring chances or a ton of goals. I expect it to be a difficult game, but I expect Sven to play the same way. We’re going to need his skating and his work ethic and his skill. We’re going to need to play the same way we did last game as a line,” stressed Eller of the trio that also includes Alex Galchenyuk. “He’s got a lot of skill and he’s a very smart player and he’s willing to work hard and compete. When you have that, it usually goes well.”
- Puck drop between the Habs and Rangers is slated for 7:00 p.m. EDT at Madison Square Garden. The game is available on RDS, SNO, SNE, 98.5FM, and TSN 690.
- Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
Words from the room
General manager Marc Bergevin signs a multi-year contract extension
Game Preview: Canadiens @ Rangers
- After enjoying a rare day off Monday, the Canadiens returned to practice Tuesday morning in Brossard prior to departing for The Big Apple where they will face the New York Rangers Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The Habs will then continue on to New Jersey for a home-and-away series against the Devils starting on the road Friday night before the two teams meet again Saturday night in Montreal.
- Devante Smith-Pelly (lower-body) returned to practice where he skated on the top line along-side Tomas Plekanec and Max Pacioretty, and is expected to play Wednesday night against the New York Rangers.
- Carey Price is expected to get the start between the pipes for the Habs, after shutting out the Rangers in the team’s home opener back on October 15, 2015. The reigning Vezina trophy winner is 11-5-1 in 18 career starts against the Rangers including a staggering seven shutouts in addition to a goals against average of 1.75 and save percentage of .943.
- Forward Brendan Gallagher, who was injured in the Canadiens most recent game Sunday night, had successful surgery Monday morning to fix two broken fingers suffered on his left hand. As a result, Gallagher is expected to miss up to six weeks.
- Torrey Mitchell, who suffered a lower-body injury November 19 against the Arizona Coyotes, is expected to miss approximately seven-ten days.
- Skating with teammates at practice for the third consecutive time, Alexei Emelin (lower-body) was paired with Jarred Tinordi at practice Tuesday morning. The Russian rearguard will not play against the Rangers but will be ready to make his return to the lineup when his number is called.
Lines at Tuesday’s practice:
Pacioretty - Plekanec – Smith-Pelly
Fleischmann - Desharnais - Weise
Eller - Galchenyuk - Andrighetto
Byron - Flynn - Semin
Markov - Subban
Beaulieu - Petry
Gilbert - Pateryn
Emelin – Tinordi
BROSSARD - On Tuesday morning, the Canadiens announced that Brendan Gallagher would miss at least six weeks of action.
The forward underwent surgery on his left hand on Monday. Gallagher suffered two fractured fingers after blocking a shot from Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk on Sunday night at the Bell Centre.
More details to come.
Forward Brendan Gallagher has fractured two fingers in his left hand after blocking a slapshot from Johnny Boychuk in the second period Sunday night. He will have surgery on Monday and he will be out indefinitely. Gallagher did not return to the game after the incident.
- The Canadiens held in a short practice Sunday morning in Brossard ahead of their clash against the New York Islanders at the Bell Centre later this evening. This will be the second straight game between the two teams, with the most recent duel taking place Friday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The Canadiens held off a third period comeback by the Islanders to win the game by the score of 5 to 3.
“They are a very tough team to play against. Last game wasn’t really an indication of how they play,” clarified captain Max Pacioretty, who is not prepared to let his club take the Islanders lightly regardless of Friday night’s outcome. “The first game we played against them was a very tight checking game. There weren’t a lot of chances both ways. And that’s the kind of game we are expecting tonight, a tight checking and low scoring game.”
- Forwards Torrey Mitchell (lower body) and Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body) did not participate in the morning workout and will not be in uniform for this evening’s game. In Torrey Mitchell’s case, he will re-evaluated by doctors later this week and the team will receive an update on his condition.
- Sven Andrighetto, recalled from the St. John's IceCaps will be in uniform Friday night against the Islanders.
“I practiced with Andrighetto today. He’s a skilled player and he’s got a lot of speed. So he creates a lot of offensive chances,” noted Alex Galchenyuk, who is slated to center a line flanked by Andrighetto and Lars Eller. “Sven is a fun guy to play with and I’m excited for what we can do as a line. When you get called up it is always exciting. You just try to go out there and prove yourself and that’s what the three of us are going to try to do, to prove ourselves. We have to make sure we are solid and give the team momentum and create scoring chances.”
- The Swiss striker has a dozen games of NHL experience, amassing two goals and adding an assist during his most recent call-up to the big leagues in 2014-2015.
“I’m confident in my game right now and I think that’s a big part. I’m going to try to play the same way I play in St. John’s, because that’s why they called me up. I am going to keep playing that way here,” added Andrighetto, who is set to make his 2015-2016 season debut.
- Meanwhile, Bud Holloway, recalled Sunday morning is expected to watch the game from the press box along with Jarred Tinordi. Holloway, who has plied his trade mainly in Sweden and Switzerland in recent years, is currently the St. John's IceCaps’ leading scorer with 20 points in 18 games.
“I’m 27 and I finally got the call up, so I am obviously pretty ecstatic to be here right now,” expressed Holloway, who was noticeably excited about being called up to the NHL for the first time in his career. “This is the first time the phone ever rang! I got called into the office and they said you are on the 5am flight in the morning. It was pretty shocking just the way it all happened so fast. Going out and calling my dad, that was a pretty proud moment.”
- Greg Pateryn will play in his fifth straight game Sunday night. The steady defender has been patrolling the Canadiens’ blue line alongside Tom Gilbert in the absence of Alexei Emelin. The Russian rearguard is progressing towards making a return to the line as Emelin skated with teammates for the second consecutive day at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard.
- Carey Price will be in goal to face the Islanders again Sunday night. Price, who is scheduled to start his 11th game this season, has a record of 8-2-0 record, including a goals against average of 2.11 and save percentage of 93.4%.
- Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. at the Bell Centre and will be televised on RDS, NHLN-US and SN.
Probable lineup for Sunday's game.
Fleischmann - Desharnais - Weise
Pacioretty - Plekanec - Gallagher
Eller - Galchenyuk - Andrighetto
Byron - Flynn - Semin
Markov - Subban
Gilbert - Pateryn
Beaulieu - Petry
- After posting a 5-3 victory over the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Friday night, the Canadiens took part in off-ice workouts on Saturday at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. Michel Therrien’s troops will be back in action on Sunday night when they play host to the Islanders at the Bell Centre.
- The Canadiens called up Sven Andrighetto from the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps immediately after Friday night’s tilt. He arrived in Montreal on Saturday morning to take part in off-ice activities and meet members of the media, too. The Swiss forward is off to a great start this season, having put up six points in his last three games. He scored two goals on Friday night against the Syracuse Crunch, including the game-winner in overtime.
- The Canadiens’ bench boss hasn’t revealed his lineup for Sunday night’s game against the Islanders as of yet. He said that information will come on Monday. That means that Andrighetto doesn’t yet know if he’ll be suiting up for his first NHL game of the season.
- Therrien also provided an update on the health status of forward Torrey Mitchell, indicating that he would not be available for Sunday night’s game and that his injury would be re-evaluated on Monday.
- Meanwhile, defenseman Alexei Emelin hit the ice for the first time on Saturday since sustaining a lower-body injury against the Pittsburgh Penguins on November 11th. The Russian rearguard has missed the last four games. He will not play on Sunday night.
- Carey Price will get the start in goal on Sunday. It will mark his 17th career start against the Islanders. He boasts a 10-3-3 record against them over the course of his career.
Following Friday night’s 5-3 win in Brooklyn, the Canadiens called up forward Sven Andrighetto from the St. John's IceCaps.
In 17 games with the IceCaps this season Andrighetto has collected six goals and nine assists, for a total of 15 points.