POSTED ON Thursday, 01.8.2015 / 12:34 PM ET

- After a day off on Wednesday, the Canadiens returned to practice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Thursday morning. Michel Therrien’s troops will be back in action on Saturday night when they play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Bell Centre.

- Prior to the start of practice, Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau skated alongside athletic therapist Vincent Roof-Racine. Parenteau has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury suffered on January 2 in New Jersey.

- Defenseman Alexei Emelin also took to the ice before practice began, skating on Brossard’s secondary ice rink accompanied by strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard. The pair worked on power skating drills. Emelin then participated in practice alongside his teammates.

- Head coach Michel Therrien kept his lines intact on Thursday, featuring the same trios that went up against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night in Montreal.

Lines and D pairings at practice:

Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-Gallagher
Desharnais-Plekanec-Andrighetto
Sekac-Eller-Prust
Bournival-Malhotra-Weise

Subban-Markov
Emelin-Gilbert
Beaulieu-Gonchar
Weaver

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.6.2015 / 3:44 PM ET

Charles Hudon will represent the Hamilton Bulldogs at the 2015 AHL All-Star Game being held January 25-26 in Utica, NY.

Through 35 games with Hamilton this season -- his first as a pro -- Hudon has registered 10 goals and 33 points to lead the rookie scoring race so far. Ranked fourth among all AHL point-getters, the 20-year-old forward enjoyed an impressive month of November, racking up 14 points in 12 games to also earn the nod as Rookie of the Month.

Hudon was selected by the Canadiens in the fifth round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.

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POSTED ON Tuesday, 01.6.2015 / 1:04 PM ET

- The Canadiens held a morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Tuesday ahead of their tilt against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Bell Centre.

- Brandon Prust did not take part in the morning skate. He was given a therapy day. Prust, however, will play in Tuesday night’s game against Tampa. Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau wasn’t on the ice either. He remains sidelined with an upper-body injury.

- Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that the Canadiens will field the same lineup that bested the Pittsburgh Penguins last Saturday night at the CONSOL Energy Center. That means that Mike Weaver will be a healthy scratch once again on the back end.

- After clearing waivers at noon EST on Tuesday, defenseman Bryan Allen was assigned to the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs.

- Michel Therrien’s troops go in search of a seventh straight win on Tuesday night. That’s a feat the Habs haven’t accomplished since the 2005-06 campaign when they rattled off eight straight wins between March 23 and April 6, 2006. Keeping the current winning streak alive, however, won’t be easy. Jon Cooper’s contingent sits tied with the Canadiens atop the Eastern Conference standings with 54 points, and they possess the league’s most potent offense with 134 goals on the year.

“They’ve got a lot of threats, especially if you give them the man advantage. They’re going to capitalize. We think we’ve been pretty disciplined of late. We went over some clips this morning. That’s going to be a huge key against Tampa, to stay out of the box,” stressed defenseman Nathan Beaulieu, who is fairly familiar with a few of the Lightning’s top guns, including Tyler Johnson and Nikita Kucherov. “I got to play against them during my first year in the American League, and they’re really special players. To see what they’re doing at this level is something else. There are going to be a couple of guys that we’re going to have to be especially dialed in against. They’re real hot right now. They’re in the back of our minds for sure.”

If playing a disciplined brand of hockey is one key to Tuesday night’s game for Montreal, lighting the lamp first is certainly the other. The Canadiens are the only team in the league in 2014-15 that hasn’t come out on the wrong side of the score sheet after finding the back of the net before of the opposition.

“We’re looking to grab the lead every game. It’s a part of our game plan. The guys are becoming more at ease at playing with the lead and they’re making smarter decisions with the puck. That’s something that I appreciate as a coach,” mentioned Therrien, whose squad is 16-0-0 when scoring first through 39 games this season. “We’re going up against a team that has a lot of speed and a lot of energy up front, so we’re going to have to start the game with that same mentality.”

- There are a number of reasons why the Canadiens are riding high right now. While stellar goaltending, offensive depth and sound defense have a lot to do with it, forward Lars Eller says it also has to do with the makeup of the locker room and the coaching staff’s ability to keep the players focused on the task at hand, especially heading into a game like this one.

“They help keep us grounded. Trust me,” confided Eller, who has put up four points in his last five games. “I said it at the beginning of the season, too. It’s a humble group. We don’t get too high even when we’re on these streaks. We don’t float away. There’s plenty of motivation for this game. Last time we played Tampa, we got embarrassed. We certainly don’t want that to happen again. We’re battling for first in the division. There’s plenty of things to get excited about. I’m not worried about us coming out soft.”

Neither is the Canadiens’ bench boss, who insists the team he’s fielding on Tuesday night isn’t the same group that dropped a 7-1 decision to the Lightning back on October 13 in Florida.

“In the game we played against them earlier this season, they were very motivated and ready to take us on. They deserved the victory. But, we know we’re able to play better hockey against the Lightning,” offered Therrien. “We’ve become a different team. We’ve made progress since the start of the year. We’re really looking forward to the game.”

- Carey Price will make his 33rd start of the season on Tuesday night. He boasts a 10-8-4 record, a 2.43 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage in 22 career outings against Tampa Bay.

- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on RDS and Sportsnet East.

SEE ALSO
Words From The Room - January 6
Carey Price earns Molson Cup honour for December

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.5.2015 / 11:27 PM ET

Three Canadiens prospects hit the ice during the final day of WJC2015 action on Monday, each vying for medals at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Here’s a look at their respective performances:
 

Slovakia 4 - Sweden 2

Canadiens prospects involved:
Sweden: Jacob de la Rose, LW (Selected in the 2nd round, 34th overall in 2013)
Slovakia: Martin Reway, C (Selected in the 4th round, 116th overall in 2013)

The surprising Slovaks faced Sweden during Monday afternoon’s bronze medal game in Toronto, getting off to a quick start with two goals in the first four minutes of play. Sweden replied quickly however, eventually ending the first period tied 2-2. Slovakia’s Pavol Skalicky scored the game-winner early in the third, with an assist from Canadiens prospect Martin Reway. Netminder Denis Godla, meanwhile, was once again superb in goal, making 26 saves to earn player of the game honors. The win secured Slovakia’s second bronze medal finish in tournament history after also finishing third in 1999.

Canadiens prospects Reway and Swedish forward Jacob De La Rose were named team MVPs following the game. Reway finished his tournament with three assists against Sweden while De La Rose registered a shot on goal while also going 63.6% in the face-off circle.
 

Canada 5 – Russia 4

Canadiens prospects involved:
Canada: Zachary Fucale, G (Selected in the 2nd round, 36th overall in 2013)

Canadians across the country held their breath during a tense finish, but Zachary Fucale and Team Canada came out on top to defeat Russia 5-4 during Monday night’s gold medal game.

Getting on the board just 23 seconds into the contest, Canada looked to be in control with a four-goal lead in the second frame before Russia stormed back to make it 5-4 after 40 minutes of play.

That’s as close as the Russians would get however, as Fucale made 26 saves to secure Canada’s first WJC gold medal since 2009, ending his tournament -- and Junior career -- with a 0.939 save percentage.

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POSTED ON Monday, 01.5.2015 / 12:49 PM ET

- The Canadiens practiced at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard for the first time since December 22 on Monday. Michel Therrien’s troops capped their longest road swing of the season with a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, registering their sixth consecutive victory. The Habs will be back in action on Tuesday night when they play host to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Bell Centre. It will be their first game on home ice in 17 days.

- Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau did not take part in Monday’s on-ice session. He remains sidelined with an upper-body injury. Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that Parenteau is being evaluated on a daily basis. Although he is feeling better, Therrien indicated that he will not play on Tuesday night against the Lightning.

- Defenseman Bryan Allen also didn’t take part in practice. He was placed on waivers at Noon.

- Carey Price was named the Molson Cup recipient for the month of December. He earned the honour for the third consecutive month. Price was selected the first star of the game four times (on December 12 versus Los Angeles, December 20 against Ottawa, December 23 at Long Island and December 29 at Carolina), and the second star once (December 5 at Chicago). Price finished ahead of teammates Alex Galchenyuk, Andrei Markov and Max Pacioretty.

- Interestingly enough, Price was also named the NHL’s third star of the week on Monday. St. Louis Blues right-winger T.J. Oshie was named the league’s first star, while Capitals right-winger Alex Ovechkin was named the week’s second star.

- Canadiens prospect Zachary Fucale will get the start in goal for Team Canada on Monday night in their Gold Medal Game tilt against Team Russia at the 2015 World Junior Hockey Championsip in Toronto. Fucale boasts a 0.50 goals-against average, a .971 save percentage and two shutouts during the annual tournament. Puck drop is scheduled for 8 p.m. EST.

Lines and D pairings at practice:

Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-Gallagher
Desharnais-Plekanec-Weise
Sekac-Eller-Prust
Andrighetto-Malhotra-Bournival

Markov-Subban
Gilbert-Emelin
Beaulieu-Gonchar
Weaver

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POSTED ON Sunday, 01.4.2015 / 11:05 PM ET

Three Canadiens prospects hit the ice as the semifinals of the 2015 World Junior Hockey Championships were contested on Sunday at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Here’s a look at their respective performances:

Russia 4 – Sweden 1

Canadiens prospects involved:
Sweden: Jacob de la Rose, LW (Selected in the 2nd round, 34th overall in 2013)

Jacob de la Rose (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

Jacob de la Rose and Team Sweden had the opportunity to advance to the Gold Medal Game on Sunday afternoon, but failed to do so, dropping a 4-1 decision to Team Russia in Toronto. Sweden cut Russia’s lead to 3-1 in the third period, but Russia wasted little time lighting the lamp again to deny their opponents any momentum whatsoever in the final frame. Russian netminder Igor Shestyorkin made 26 saves in the victory, giving his countrymen a chance to go up against Canada on Monday night in the tournament finale.

Swedish captain Jacob de la Rose finished the tilt with three shots on goal in addition to winning 55 percent of his draws. The Canadiens hopeful will be back in action on Monday afternoon as Sweden will battle Slovakia in Toronto for the bronze medal.

Canada 5 Slovakia 1

Canadiens prospects involved:
Canada: Zachary Fucale, G (Selected in the 2nd round, 36th overall in 2013)
Slovakia: Martin Reway (Selected in the 4th round, 116th overall in 2013)

Zachary Fucale (Photo by Andre Ringuette/HHOF-IIHF Images)

In the second semifinal tilt on Sunday, Canada went up against Slovakia. Benoit Groulx’s squad came out with tremendous jump, but the Canadians only managed to beat netminder Denis Godla once through 20 minutes of play. In the latter stages of the second period, however, Canada finally managed to solve Godla as Nic Petan and Shea Theodore scored two quick goals to send a raucous Air Canada Centre crowd into a frenzy. Petan went on to pick up the hat trick in the third period to cap the scoring.

Zachary Fucale turned aside 14 of 15 shots against in goal. Groulx has yet to confirm, however, whether or not the Canadiens prospect will get the start on Monday night against Russia.

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.2.2015 / 5:28 PM ET

All four Canadiens prospects were in quarterfinal action on Friday, representing their respective nations at the Bell Centre in Montreal and the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Here’s a look at their performances:
 
 

Sweden 6 – Finland 3 – Air Canada Centre

Canadiens prospects involved:
Sweden: Jacob De La Rose, LW (Selected in the 2nd round, 34th overall in 2013)
Finland: Artturi Lehkonen, LW (Selected in the 2nd round, 55th overall in 2013)

Sweden defeated Finland 6-3 on Friday to oust the defending champions in this year's quarterfinal round.

Despite the offensive outing, Habs prospects Jacob De La Rose and Artturi Lehkonen were held off the scoresheet in Toronto, finishing the game with one and three shots on goal, respectively. The Finnish captain, for his part, also finished the night with a minus-one differential.

The Swedes now face Russia during Sunday's semifinal round.
 
 

Credit: Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images

Slovakia 3 – Czech Republic 0 – Bell Centre

Canadiens prospects involved:
Slovakia: Martin Reway (Selected in the 4th round, 116th overall in 2013)

Slovakia surprised the Czech Republic 3-0 on the strength of goaltender Denis Godla's 34-save performance during the tournament's final game in Montreal.

Slovakian captain and Canadiens prospect Martin Reway was proud of his team's performance heading into the semifinal round.

"For a small country like Slovakia, this win means a lot. Our goalie was incredible, the entire team played well, and it's a huge win for us," explained the 19-year-old forward who scored a late empty-net goal, bringing his tournament totals to four goals and a pair of assists.

Teammate Michal Kabac's marker late in the first would turn out to be the game-winner.

Slovakia now faces Canada on Sunday for a spot in the final.
 
 

Canada 8 – Denmark 0 – Air Canada Centre

Canadiens prospects involved:
Canada: Zachary Fucale, G (Selected in the 2nd round, 36th overall in 2013)

Zachary Fucale went largely untested on Friday night as Canada beat Denmark 8-0 in the tournament's fourth quarterfinal game to set up a semifinal date with Slovakia on Sunday. Having allowed just one goal -- notably to fellow Canadiens prospect Arrturi Lehkonen -- in three outings so far, Fucale had to make just 14 saves to secure his second shutout of the tournament, boosting his 2015 WJC save percentage to 0.981 and improving his goals against average to 0.333.

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POSTED ON Friday, 01.2.2015 / 1:01 PM ET

- The Canadiens hit the ice for their morning skate at the Prudential Center on Friday, with all players taking part.

- Carey Price will play his 400th career NHL game on Friday, while the Devils will give Cory Schneider a night off in place of Keith Kinkaid, who has a stellar .939 save percentage and 1.75 goals-against average this season. While he’s surprised he won’t be seeing the league’s busiest goaltender between the pipes in New Jersey, Max Pacioretty isn’t taking the rookie netminder lightly.

“I actually skated with him one time in the summer. I think he’s from the area. He’s a great goalie,” confirmed Max Pacioretty of the Farmingville, NY native, who has a 1-1-2 record so far this year. “Every goalie in this league is capable of putting up big games and he’s no different from anyone else. But we just try to worry about our game and not worry about who we’re facing.”

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Prudential Center.

- There will be a few familiar faces lining up against the Canadiens at the Prudential Center on Friday night, with four former Habs on the Devils’ roster, including Michael Ryder, Michael Cammalleri, Dainius Zubrus, and Scott Gomez, who was bought out by Montreal at the start of the 2012-13 season. After suiting up for the Sharks and Panthers over the last two seasons, Gomez received a one-year deal with the Devils on December 1 after practicing with the team for the first few months of the campaign. Now skating on a line with Jaromir Jagr and Zubrus, Gomez has seven points through 15 games in 2014-15.

“We watched some clips this morning of their special teams and he looked great. You always knew when Scott played with confidence that he was going to be a great player,” explained Pacioretty, who spent three seasons with the Alaska native in Montreal. “He’s proven that in the past and it’s nice as a friend to see him getting a shot here in New Jersey. I think we’re going to have to bear down on that line. It’s nice to see him having success, but for tonight we have to find a way to contain them because I think they’re probably one of the most dangerous lines.”

- Having won the first three games of the team’s five-game road stretch so far, the Canadiens are hoping to kick off the New Year the same way they closed out 2014. While he’d like to return home to the Bell Centre with 10 road points in his back pocket, Michel Therrien isn’t looking beyond the two points at stake at the Prudential Center on Friday night.

“We have five games on the road and we were able to win the first three, but we’ve never looked at it like a block of five games. We take it one game at a time and tonight won’t be any different. When we look at the standings, this is a big game for us,” stressed Therrien, whose team could reclaim its spot atop the Eastern Conference with a win in New Jersey. “It’s really tight and the other teams close to us have been winning, so we can’t let up.”

- Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. and the game is available on RDS and Sportsnet. East.

SEE ALSO:
VIDEO: Words from the room
Game preview: Canadiens @ Devils
Milestone man 

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POSTED ON Thursday, 01.1.2015 / 4:17 PM ET

The Canadiens hit the ice for the first time in 2015 at the Prudential Center for a tune up ahead of Friday’s game against the Devils. All players took part in the skate.

There were no changes in the line rushes or defense pairings from Tuesday’s game in Florida.

Mike McCarron, the Canadiens’ first round pick from the 2013 NHL Entry Draft was traded by the London Knights to the Oshawa Generals on Thursday. The 19-year-old forward has 21 goals and 40 points in 25 OHL games so far this season.

Lines and D pairings at practice

Pacioretty-Galchenyuk-Gallagher
Desharnais-Plekanec-Parenteau
Sekac-Eller-Prust
Bournival- Andrighetto/Malhotra-Weise

Markov-Subban
Beaulieu-Gonchar
Emelin-Gilbert
Allen-Weaver

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POSTED ON Wednesday, 12.31.2014 / 6:00 PM ET

The 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship wrapped up its preliminary round play in Montreal and Toronto on Wednesday, with three Canadiens prospects representing their respective nations on New Year’s Eve. Here’s a look at their performances:

 

Sweden 5 – Switzerland 1 – Air Canada Centre

Canadiens prospects involved:
Sweden: Jacob De La Rose, LW (Selected in the 2nd round, 34th overall in 2013)

Sweden defeated Switzerland during Wednesday’s early game in Toronto to remain perfect atop Group B. Despite ten different skaters picking up at least one point in the 5-1 decision over the Swiss, Canadiens prospect Jacob De La Rose was held off the scoresheet after initially racking up four points in the tournament’s opening three games. De La Rose and the Swedes now face Finland in quarterfinal action on Friday.

 

Canada 5 – U.S.A. 3 – Bell Centre

Canadiens prospects involved:
Canada: Zachary Fucale, G (Selected in the 2nd round, 36th overall in 2013)

Canada and the United States met with first place in Group A on the line at the Bell Centre on Wednesday in the latest edition of the North American rivals’ traditional New Year’s Eve game. Winners of a 5-3 effort, Canada joins Sweden as the tournament’s second undefeated team through preliminary round play. Canadiens prospect Zachary Fucale was limited to a backup role in Montreal as teammate Eric Comrie got the start against the U.S., making 25 saves during a busy afternoon between the pipes. Team Canada head coach Benoit Groulx has split the work between his goaltenders so far, with Fucale and Comrie each starting two games apiece. Canada now meets Denmark in Friday's quarterfinal at the Air Canada Centre.

 

Finland 2 – Germany 0 – Bell Centre

Canadiens prospects involved:
Finland: Artturi Lehkonen, LW (Selected in the 2nd round, 55th overall in 2013)

After a slow start to this year's tournament with a trio of losses to the United States, Slovakia, and Canada, Finland secured its spot in the quarterfinal round with a 2-0 win over Germany in Montreal. Champions a year ago, the Finns blanked Germany for the seventh time in 11 meetings to set up a playoff date against the rival Swedes — runners up in 2014 — on Friday. Finnish captain and Canadiens prospect Artturi Lehkonen, meanwhile, was held off the scoresheet at the Bell Centre, finishing his preliminary round play with one goal — notably against Canada — in four games played.

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