At the Rink blog

Ryder out, Blunden in for Canadiens

Saturday, 03.16.2013 / 1:18 PM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Ryder out, Blunden in for Canadiens

NEWARK, N.J. -- Montreal Canadiens forward Michael Ryder did not make the trip for the game Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils because of a lower-body injury.

Ryder, who practiced Friday, stayed in Montreal to receive treatment.

"There were too many question marks," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "We feel it's better for him to treat it and resolve the problem. When we put him back in the lineup he's going to be 100 percent. At this time of the year we don't want to take any risks.

"It's not like a major injury, but it's something we have to pay attention to."

Ryder will be replaced in the lineup by Mike Blunden, who was recalled Friday from the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. Travis Moen will move up from the fourth line to play on the top line with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta.

Blunden had quite a trip just getting to Newark.

He was originally on a direct flight from St. John's, Newfoundland, where the Bulldogs are playing, at 9 a.m. Saturday, but the flight was canceled Friday night. He instead had to take a 5:25 a.m. flight out to Montreal and connect there to a 9 a.m. flight to Newark.

Blunden landed in Newark at 10:15 a.m. and hopped in a car so he could make it to the morning skate on time.

"I'll have a good nap this afternoon, that's for sure," said Blunden, who has played in 90 NHL games since the 2006-07 season. "Definitely circumstances are tough but it's no excuse. I'm just going to get ready to play and go have some fun."

He'll play on the fourth line with Colby Armstrong and Ryan White.

"We understand he was there early, but he's excited," Therrien said. "I think he's going to feel more fatigue [Sunday] than today, probably."

Carey Price is expected to start in goal, and 6-foot-6 defenseman Jarred Tinordi will be making his NHL debut.

Here is the Canadiens' projected lineup:

Travis Moen - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher

Gabriel Dumont - Lars Eller - Alex Galchenyuk

Ryan White - Colby Armstrong - Michael Blunden

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Andrei Markov - Alexei Emelin

Francis Bouillon - Jarred Tinordi

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Tomas Kaberle

Injured: Michael Ryder (lower body), Rene Bourque (concussion), Raphael Diaz (concussion), Yannick Weber (knee), Brandon Prust (shoulder)


Quote of the Day

It is really special. I had a lot of friends and family here tonight, and for my first [NHL] game in here it was great. I played here as an elementary-school player in the city championships and this was my first time back. It was a lot of fun.

— Toronto native Brandon Pirri after scoring 2 goals for Panthers in win at Maple Leafs on Thursday
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