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Posted On Thursday, 04.16.2015 / 4:20 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - Canadiens-Senators series blog

Canadiens' Subban says he paid price for Stone slash

BROSSARD, Quebec -- P.K. Subban and the Montreal Canadiens believe the penalties he received Wednesday for his controversial slash on Ottawa Senators forward Mark Stone were punishment enough, if not too much.

Subban was assessed a game misconduct in addition to a five-minute major penalty for slashing Stone on the right wrist at 8:23 of the second period of Montreal's 4-3 win against Ottawa in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round series at Bell Centre.

Posted On Thursday, 04.09.2015 / 2:35 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Red Wings at Canadiens

MONTREAL -- The Detroit Red Wings and the Montreal Canadiens have distinctly different clinching scenarios for the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs riding on the outcome of their game at Bell Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-D, RDS, SNE, CITYM), as well as three other Eastern Conference games on Thursday.

Detroit would clinch a playoff berth for a 24th straight season if they defeat Montreal for the first time in four games this season, or if the Ottawa Senators lose their game at the New York Rangers in regulation. The Red Wings can also clinch with an overtime or shootout loss to the Canadiens if Ottawa loses in any fashion, or if the Boston Bruins lose in regulation against the Florida Panthers.

Goalie Jimmy Howard will start his second game in a row after making 30 saves in Detroit's 3-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, and said he has no intention of checking out of town scores during the game.

"I really don't pay attention to the boards, to that part," Howard said. "We've just got to take care of our own business. We control our own destiny and it's no different here (Thursday)."

Posted On Thursday, 04.02.2015 / 1:55 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Capitals at Canadiens

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman Tom Gilbert will return to the lineup Thursday against the Washington Capitals at Bell Centre.

Gilbert missed four games after he was struck in the face by a puck for a second game in a row on March 21. He has a clear plastic chin protector attached to his helmet that he will wear for the next 2-3 weeks.

"I think the biggest thing is you just get bumped all the time so it's going to get hit and move around," Gilbert said. "Once I get used to that, I won't even notice it."

Posted On Saturday, 03.28.2015 / 2:23 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Panthers at Canadiens

MONTREAL -- Florida Panthers defenseman Erik Gudbranson is looking forward to making the most of his return to the lineup against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; TVA, CITY, FS-F).

Gudbranson was a healthy scratch Thursday for Florida's 4-1 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.

"It was a difficult pill to swallow but it is what it is and it's over with," the 22-year-old defenseman said after the Panthers' optional morning skate Saturday. "I'm in the lineup (Saturday) and we've got a huge game to play."

Posted On Saturday, 03.21.2015 / 2:10 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Sharks at Canadiens

MONTREAL -- San Jose Sharks coach Todd McLellan isn't reading too much into the fact his team has not allowed a goal against the Montreal Canadiens in more than three years.

San Jose has shut out Montreal three times in a row over the past two seasons, including a 20-save effort by backup goalie Alex Stalock in the Sharks' 4-0 win at SAP Center on March 2.

Erik Cole, who now plays for the Detroit Red Wings, scored the Canadiens' most recent goal against the Sharks in Montreal's 4-3 overtime loss in San Jose on Dec. 11, 2011.

"Well, I don't think we can go too far back," McLellan said after San Jose's morning skate at Bell Centre on Saturday. "The teams have changed, circumstances are different; we can only look at this season, and I don't know if it was a good thing or a bad thing that we played this team on trade deadline day. We had a pregame skate with 17 skaters in the morning. I'm sure they looked at that and they were excited about adding pieces to their roster and what-not, so their circumstances, ours were completely different.

"I think [Saturday] we're going to be playing that first-place club, and we're going to have to rise to the occasion to beat that first-place club."

Posted On Thursday, 03.19.2015 / 2:08 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Hurricanes at Canadiens

MONTREAL -- Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Danny Biega will make his NHL debut against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

The Harvard graduate's previous game at Bell Centre was as a 10-year-old during his minor hockey days on Montreal's West Island.

"It's amazing," Biega, 23, said after the morning skate. "It's awesome. I couldn't think of a better way to start than coming back to my hometown and playing here."

Carolina coach Bill Peters relished the opportunity to put Biega in his starting lineup in Montreal.

"I don't know who his partner is going to be, but I know Danny Biega is going to be standing on the blue line listening to two hockey songs," Peters said. "It's going to be fantastic."

Posted On Thursday, 03.12.2015 / 2:03 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Senators at Canadiens

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens right wing PA Parenteau will face the Ottawa Senators at Bell Centre on Thursday after being left out of the lineup the past four games.

Montreal coach Michel Therrien had fun with the fact that Parenteau's agent, Allan Walsh, lobbied for his client's insertion to the lineup via Twitter.

"Well as we all know we received a tweet [Wednesday] from his agent so I'm sure everyone is aware of that," Therrien said after the Canadiens' morning skate at their suburban practice facility Thursday. "When we received the tweet we started to think about it, that he would be back in the lineup. But more seriously, there's always a timing to bring someone back in the lineup and we believe that the timing is right for him."

Posted On Tuesday, 03.10.2015 / 2:04 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Lightning at Canadiens

MONTREAL -- In a stark reversal from their 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs series, the Tampa Bay Lightning have had the Montreal Canadiens number so far this season.

Tampa Bay, which was swept in four straight games by Montreal in their Eastern Conference First Round series, won its first two games against the Canadiens, outscoring them 11-3.

The Lightning face the Canadiens at Bell Centre on Tuesday in the first of three games between the teams in March.

"We're pretty familiar with this team, we're familiar with the guys that they have," center Steven Stamkos said after Tampa Bay's morning skate. "We've played some very good hockey games against these guys, so we expect that (Tuesday)."

Posted On Saturday, 02.28.2015 / 2:08 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Maple Leafs at Canadiens

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman Sergei Gonchar will return Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, though he won't have to look out for David Clarkson this time.

Gonchar will be back in the lineup after missing six games since he was injured two weeks ago at Bell Centre on a hit by Clarkson, who was traded by Toronto to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday.

"It's strange, but sometimes it works out this way," Gonchar said about the circumstances surrounding his return after Montreal's morning skate at the team's suburban practice facility.

The 40-year-old Russian is coming back from an upper-body injury he sustained on Feb. 14 when he was sent headfirst into the end boards by Clarkson, who was given a boarding major and a game misconduct on the play.

"It's definitely harder towards the end of the year," Gonchar said. "Teams are playing at a higher pace, you know, everybody competing for the playoffs, but at the same time I've been around for a few years so I know what to expect."

Posted On Saturday, 02.21.2015 / 2:14 PM

By Sean Farrell - Correspondent / - 2014-2015 At the Rink blog

At the Rink: Blue Jackets at Canadiens

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens have been getting more shots on goal lately, but that hasn't meant more goals.

Montreal, which has had 44 and 39 shots on goal in its past two games, hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets at Bell Centre on Saturday.

The Canadiens lost 3-2 to the Florida Panthers on Thursday in a shootout, the fourth straight game they have scored two goals. Montreal has not scored more than three goals in any of its past seven games.

Canadiens right wing Brendan Gallagher scored each Montreal goal from in tight Thursday, and forward Lars Eller said they will have to get in on Columbus goalie Curtis McElhinney.

"We've just got to get more on the inside," Eller said. "We are getting a lot of shots from the outside. We've got to be in front of the net to take the goalie's eyes away and get rebounds, get dirty goals like the ones Gallagher got last game. We all have to get on the inside and battle at the crease. That's where it's start."

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Yeah, I guess so. That empty-netter was pretty lucky, but I'll take it.

— Senators forward Mike Hoffman when asked if his two-goal game was a good way to celebrate his 26th birthday
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