MONTREAL - Marian Gaborik, the Columbus Blue Jackets' leading scorer, will miss his team's game against the Montreal Canadiens Thursday night due to an illness, the team announced just over two hours before puck drop.
Gaborik's spot in the lineup will be taken by Sean Collins, who will make his season debut.
Gaborik has two goals and four assists in five games this season playing on the Blue Jackets' top line with Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson. Rookie Boone Jenner is expected to take Gaborik's spot on that line.
Collins played five games with the Blue Jackets last season. He is still looking for his first NHL point.
Pacioretty left the Canadiens' 3-0 win against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday in the first period with a lower-body injury. He had to be helped off the ice and was unable to put weight on his left leg.
Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said the team still was awaiting the results of an MRI taken Wednesday night amid rampant speculation in Montreal about the severity of Pacioretty’s injury. When he said the team did not have the results of the MRI as of early Thursday afternoon, a few reporters chuckled.
"What are you laughing at? We don't know yet," Therrien said. "I'm as eager to know as you are. Maybe even a little more eager than you are."
Pacioretty hurt his arm midway through the first period of Montreal's season opener against the Toronto Maple Leafs when he was hit along the boards by Colton Orr. Pacioretty missed the rest of the first period and the first few shifts of the second before coming back to finish the game.
Pacioretty participated in Montreal's practice Friday, but said afterward that he couldn't guarantee he would be able to play in Saturday's game. Coach Michel Therrien said Saturday after the team's morning skate that he considered it "too risky" to put Pacioretty in the lineup.
Pacioretty's absence, coupled with that of George Parros (concussion), ensures that rookie Michael Bournival will make his NHL debut while Ryan White will make his season debut after both sat out Tuesday's game.
The Canadiens announced Monday that Murray would miss four to six weeks with an upper-body injury sustained at practice Sunday. This comes after Murray missed most of training camp and the entire preseason schedule with a lower-body injury.
Center Gabriel Dumont and defenseman Nathan Beaulieu were Montreal's final cuts of training camp and will report to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. Dumont must clear waivers before reporting.
BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta is expected to play his team's final preseason game Thursday night against the Ottawa Senators, thereby assuring he will be ready to start the season on time Oct. 1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Gionta underwent surgery to repair a torn biceps muscle in his left arm in May and there was some question at the beginning of camp on whether or not he would be able to play on opening night.
While nothing is set in stone, both Gionta and Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said Tuesday that the plan is to have him play Thursday night.
"He's got an excellent resume; he's had success with other goaltenders," Price said of his new mentor. "I'm looking forward to rounding my game with him."
Waite's resume includes winning the Stanley Cup twice in four seasons with the Chicago Blackhawks, helping first Antti Niemi then Corey Crawford backstop their teams through the grind of the playoffs.
BROSSARD, Quebec -- It was only the first scrimmage of training camp, but Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien may have given a little sneak preview Thursday as to the line combinations he'll use this season.
Canadiens new acquisition Daniel Briere was at right wing on a line with David Desharnais at center and Max Pacioretty on the left, two players who have spent basically the entirety of their professional careers together. With Briere and Desharnais both standing considerably less than 6 feet, it would be a combination lacking size but oozing with skill.
Another combination had Tomas Plekanec and Rene Bourque together at center and left wing, just as they were last season. But the right side was filled by prospect Christian Thomas in the absence of captain Brian Gionta, who is still recovering from a torn biceps muscle. Thomas was acquired in a trade with the New York Rangers for Danny Kristo during the offseason.