- The Canadiens held an optional skate at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata. Sixteen players took part, including both goalies. Andrei Markov, Josh Gorges, Ryan White, Tomas Plekanec, Raphael Diaz, Francis Bouillon and Max Pacioretty did not practice.
- Daniel Briere participated in his first practice with the team since suffering a concussion on Oct. 19 against Nashville. With no set timetable for his return to the lineup, the 36-year-old is dutifully following protocol to make sure when he does finally get back into action, he’ll be fully recovered and ready to go.
“I don’t have a precise date yet. I’ve followed protocol and things have been getting better. I can do a little more every day,” shared Briere, who took an Eric Nystrom elbow to the chin in the team’s eighth game of the season. “The hardest thing is just being patient. With the way I’m feeling, I feel like I could play tonight but I know that wouldn’t be the best thing to do. We’ve seen in the past what happens when guys come back too soon and they get hit and then they’re out for even longer. I’m following the doctors’ orders; they know what’s best for me, but it’s hard to be patient and wait.”
- Travis Moen skated on Thursday morning and will suit up for his first game since fracturing his orbital bone on Oct. 26 after taking a puck to the face. Moen will be sporting a visor for the immediate future and will flank Ryan White and George Parros on the team’s fourth line.
- Carey Price will get his 14th start of the season on Thursday night. The 26-year-old will look to build on his 14-5-3 career record against the Sens.
- About to square off against the Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre for the first time – preseason excluded – since Game 4 of the first round of the 2013 Playoffs, Michel Therrien is expecting to see a typical rivalry game in Ottawa. Having failed to leave the nation’s capital with a win since December 27, 2011, Therrien is hoping to snap that streak on Thursday night.
“When you play against teams in your division, you’re used to playing against them and there’s always a little more emotion in the air when you face them than when you’re playing teams you don’t play against very often,” admitted the Habs bench boss. “We know how important games like these are and we’re starting a stretch of the schedule where we’re facing a lot of teams within our conference and our division. We know them better and they know us better, so that always makes for more interesting games.”
- Puck drop is slated for 7:00 p.m. at the Canadian Tire Centre.
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