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The Canadiens will play their third preseason match Friday night against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City.
Four days after cutting 14 players from training camp, 39 soldiers remain. With five preseason games in the next seven days, the coaching staff has elected to retain several prospects in order to bolster the team’s lineup in the face of a heavy workload this coming week.
Fans in the historic Quebec capital will have a rare chance to see some familiar faces, as Michel Therrien has penciled in veterans P.K. Subban, Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais, Brandon Prust, Alex Galchenyuk and Josh Gorges into Friday’s lineup. Peter Budaj and Dustin Tokarski will split duties in the Canadiens net.
Several young guns will look to earn their place in the NHL in the coming days. Players such as Gabriel Dumont (who played ten games with the Habs last season), Michaël Bournival (who potted two goals in the preseason opener last Sunday) and Christian Thomas will all audition against the ‘Canes. First-round pick Michael McCarron, who set up Bournival on both of his goals, will also take part in the tilt.
The Hurricanes will play their second match in as many days, and are coming off a 5-2 loss to the Sabres. They are winless so far in the preseason.
Carolina head coach Kirk Muller announced this week that he plans on using starting goaltender Cam Ward into in up to four games during the preseason. As Ward did not play against Buffalo, it is probable that he will be in action in Quebec City. Team captain Eric Staal is also highly likely to suit up on Friday as he was left out of the lineup against Buffalo.
This will be the first of back-to-back meetings between the Canadiens and the Hurricanes. The teams will follow up the Friday game with a contest on Saturday at the Bell Centre.