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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POSTED ON Tuesday, 12.30.2014 / 11:07 PM ET

The 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship continued in Montreal and Toronto on Tuesday, with one Canadiens prospects hitting the ice on the fifth day of the annual tournament.

Slovakia 5 – Germany 2 – Bell Centre

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

Martin Reway registered a hat-trick to pace Slovakia to an all-important 5-2 victory on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. The Slovaks secured third place in Group A with the win, and earned a berth in the quarter-finals.

(Richard Wolowicz/HHOF-IIHF Images)

“It’s a good feeling for us. We believe we can do this,” offered Reway, who also won 66.7 percent of his draws in the face-off circle, picked up four shots on goal and finished the game with a plus-4 differential. “Finishing in third place is good for next year’s rankings. It’s good for the future of Slovakia. We’ve got to make sure that we play the same way in the quarter-finals. I’m pretty happy with the team effort against Germany.”

Reway hadn’t lit the lamp in Slovakia’s three previous outings during the preliminary round, so he was pleased to find the back of the net for his country in a critical tilt.

“I’m just trying to do what I can for the team, whether it’s in the defensive zone or the offensive zone. I’m just trying to be a good leader. It’s my third World Juniors. I’ve got to keep taking care of things,” stressed Reway, whose squad outshot Germany by a 35-30 margin on Tuesday night. “I’m happy that we won. Hopefully, we can keep playing like this.”

The Slovaks also got goals from Robert Lantosi and Matus Sukel, while netminder Denis Godla was strong once again between the pipes.

Slovakia is looking to improve on a pair of eighth-place finishes it posted at the World Junior Hockey Championship over the last two years.

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.29.2014 / 7:46 PM ET

The 2015 World Junior Hockey Championship continued in Montreal and Toronto on Monday, with four Canadiens prospects hitting the ice on the fourth day of the annual tournament. Here’s a look at their respective performances:




U.S.A. 3 – Slovakia 0 – Bell Centre

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

Slovakia suffered its second loss of the tournament in a 2-0 decision opposite the United States on Monday afternoon. Like his teammates, Slovakia captain Martin Reway was kept off the scoresheet against the Americans, but nevertheless finished his day a plus-1 with three shots on goal.

Slovakia plays its final preliminary round game on Tuesday against Germany.




Sweden 3 – Russia 2 – Air Canada Centre

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

Sweden overcame an early third period deficit on Monday afternoon to defeat Russia 3-2 in Toronto. Jacob De La Rose, who entered the game ranked as the tournament's second leading scorer, was held pointless, finishing the game with a minus-1 differential.

The Swedes now enjoy a day off before wrapping up their preliminary round play on December 31 against Switzerland.



Canada 4 – Finland 1 – Bell Centre

Canadiens prospects involved:
Canada: Zachary Fucale, G (Selected in the 2nd round, 36th overall in 2013)
Finland: Artturi Lehkonen, LW (Selected in the 2nd round, 55th overall in 2013)

Canada remains unbeaten after besting Finland 4-1 to wrap up Monday's action. After enjoying a night off against Germany on Saturday, Zachary Fucale was back in goal opposite Finland, stopping 27 of 28 shots, while Artturi Lehkonen's sole marker was Canada's first goal allowed of the tournament.

"It was bound to happen at some point. We made a couple of mistakes here and there, and I've got some things I need to work on. We'll adjust, look ahead, and prepare for the next game," admitted Fucale, who nevertheless picked up his second win in as many outings since the start of the tournament. "We were expecting a close game, and they were very competitive until the end. We executed our game plan well. We're very happy with our performance and now we're going to get ready for the United States."

Lehkonen's goal came near the end of the second period, sparking an inspired effort from the visitors in the final 20 minutes, before ultimately falling to the host nation.

"We got a lot of hope from that goal. We were really positive and we believed at that point that we could beat these guys," explained the Finnish captain. "But then a couple penalties made things pretty clinical for them, and we should have done the same while we were on the power play. When we don’t score on the power play, it’s really hard to win."

Both Canada and Finland wrap up their preliminary round play on Wednesday, taking on the United States and Germany at the Bell Centre, at 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. respectively.

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POSTED ON Monday, 12.29.2014 / 12:37 PM ET

- The Canadiens hit the ice at PNC Arena on Monday morning ahead of their first tilt back from the Christmas break, against the Hurricanes. All players participated in the game day skate.

- As confirmed by Michel Therrien on Sunday, Carey Price will get his 30th start of the season, becoming the fifth netminder in the league to crack the 30 games played mark in 2014-15. He could also become the third goaltender in the NHL to hit the 20-win plateau this season with a victory over Carolina.

- After breaking his fibula on September 23 against the Sabres, Jordan Staal will make his season debut on Monday night against the Habs and is expected to play on a line with his brother, Eric, and Nathan Gerbe.

“They’re two big bodies, good skaters and they’ve got good shots,” explained Dale Weise on the challenge of facing a double-Staal line. “That’ll be a tough line to handle. You just need to try to take away their time and space as best you can.”

- With the potential of reclaiming their spot atop the division with a win in Carolina, the Habs know how important two points are any time of the year, but they also aren’t putting too much emphasis on the standings heading into their 36th game of the season,

“We take a peek at the board, but the key is to focus on ourselves,” confirmed Lars Eller, whose team is currently riding a two game win streak. “You don’t want to fall into the pit of looking at where other teams are. We want to be on top of our division and I think we belong up there. But at the same time, every night is a battle. We know Carolina is at the bottom of the standings, but it’s not going to be an easy game tonight.”

- With just 32 man games lost to injury this season, the Canadiens have been the healthiest team in the NHL to date, giving Therrien plenty of options when it comes to icing his game time lineup. After rotating Michael Bournival and Sven Andrighetto through reps on the fourth line with Manny Malhotra and Dale Weise, the coach confirmed that Andrighetto would get the call to suit up against Carolina.

“It depends on the game, but a guy like Andrighetto or a guy like Weise can help. If you’re trailing, you can move Andrighetto to a more offensive line. If you’re leading, you can use a guy like Weise in a more defensive role,” explained Therrien, whose other healthy scratches include Bryan Allen and Mike Weaver. “That’s how I look at my choices when it comes to that line.”

Projected Lines and D pairings

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

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

SEE ALSO: 
Words from the room
Game Preview: Canadiens @ Hurricanes
Sergei and the Kid
Notebook: December 27
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POSTED ON Sunday, 12.28.2014 / 1:01 PM ET

The Canadiens practiced at Raleigh Center Ice in North Carolina on Sunday morning. Bryan Allen joined the team in Raleigh on Saturday night and was paired with Mike Weaver for the practice.

Michel Therrien confirmed that Carey Price will get the start against the Hurricanes on Monday night. Price will look to build on his career 11-5-2 record against Carolina, which includes a 2.27 goals-against average and .930 save percentage.

While he wouldn’t confirm when, Therrien also mentioned that Dustin Tokarski will see action during the team’s four-game road trip.

Therrien did not change his lines from Saturday’s practice, suggesting that David Desharnais and P-A Parenteau will flank Tomas Plekanec against the Hurricanes.

Lines and defense pairings at practice

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

Markov-Subban
Gonchar-Beaulieu
Emelin-GIlbert
Weaver-Allen
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POSTED ON Saturday, 12.27.2014 / 3:47 PM ET

After a three-day break from the rink, the Canadiens were back on the ice on Saturday afternoon in Raleigh, NC, for a tune-up ahead of Monday’ game against the Hurricanes. Bryan Allen was the only Hab not on the ice at PNC Arena; he will join the team later on Saturday evening.

Lines and defense pairings at practice

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

Markov-Subban
Gonchar-Beaulieu
Emelin-Gilbert
Weaver
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