The Canadiens recalled forward Daniel Carr from St. John's on Sunday afternoon. The left winger has racked up nine goals and 19 points and posted a plus-7 differential through 21 AHL games this season. Carr had a goal and an assist against the Toronto Marlies prior to being called up on Sunday.
- The Canadiens held an optional morning skate at the Prudential Center on Friday ahead of their game against the Devils. Fifteen players took part in the practice, including Dustin Tokarski and Christian Thomas, who met the team in New Jersey on Thursday night after being recalled from St. John’s.
- Tokarski will back up Mike Condon against the Devils, as Carey Price was placed on the injured reserve list with a lower body injury on Thursday. Despite being without his starting netminder for at least the next few games, head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that his game plan remains the same no matter who he has between the pipes.
“We had a really good start and we faced adversity early in the season when Carey got hurt. We lost another warrior in Brendan Gallagher, but for us, it’s business as usual,” explained Therrien. “We have to make sure we’re solid and that we give ourselves a chance to win hockey games by playing the right way. Credit goes to the players and the leadership, because they approach every game the right way. Absolutely nothing changes. We want to play the same way, we want to play the right way, we want to play within our structure. We believe our structure is what brings us success.
- Therrien also confirmed on Thursday that Bud Holloway will make his NHL debut on Friday night at the age of 27. He’ll skate alongside Paul Byron and Brian Flynn, who are looking forward to seeing what the rookie winger can bring to their line.
“He’s played a lot of professional hockey. He’s worked hard to get to this point and he’s definitely earned it, especially with the really good start he had in St. John’s this year,” said Flynn on his new linemate, who was first on the IceCaps and third in the AHL with 20 points in 18 games when he was called up. “From what I’ve seen, he sees the ice really well. He’s a smart player and he’s good offensively. Hopefully we’ll be able to contribute a little more offensively tonight.”
“We decided before we left for the trip that Alexei would come back into the lineup. He was feeling good, but we’ll continue to work with him and he’ll probably be back in the lineup on Saturday,” shared Therrien, whose team will head back to Montreal after the game to face the Devils on home ice on Saturday. “We have depth and we like to use that as much as possible. In Emelin’s case, he missed a lot of time and we’re playing three games in four nights. We have to manage his ice time.”
- Devils netminder Cory Schneider will get his second career start against the Canadiens on Friday night. He’ll be looking to add to New Jersey’s impressive start to the campaign, having racked up 23 points to date under rookie head coach John Hynes.
“This is a team that plays with a lot of energy and they’ll be one of the teams battling right to the end to earn a playoff spot,” said Therrien. “Games against teams like that are always difficult.”
- Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. at the Prudential Center. The game will be broadcast on RDS, Sportsnet East, 98.5FM, and TSN 690.
Game Preview: Canadiens vs Devils
The long game
Answering the call
- 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