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At the Rink blog

Canadiens hope to finish road trip on high note

Tuesday, 10.15.2013 / 2:38 PM

By Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

WINNIPEG -- The Montreal Canadiens have an opportunity to head back home happy when they meet the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre on Tuesday.

The Canadiens (3-2-0) took two of three games last week in Western Canada, and a win against the Jets would wrap the trip nicely for coach Michel Therrien and his team. After playing Winnipeg, Montreal will play six of its next seven games at Bell Centre.

"It has been a long road trip," Canadiens center Lars Eller said, "and we want to round it out in a good way before we get back home. I think everybody is very excited to get back home, but we want to finish off in a good way, and that's going to make [returning home] that much better."

Carey Price will be in goal for the Canadiens, making his fifth start this season after earning First Star honors Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks for stopping 39 of 40 shots. Montreal swept last season's three meetings with Winnipeg.

The Canadiens arrived in Winnipeg in time to scout the Jets' 3-0 win against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. Therrien left impressed.

"I believe that they really focused on the defensive game and they played well," he said. "This is not a team that is easy to play against. It's always a good atmosphere when we come here."

Therrien will welcome back captain Brian Gionta, who missed the game Saturday while attending to a personal matter. Gionta's return will send Daniel Briere to the fourth line and make Michael Bournival a healthy scratch.

Nathan Beaulieu impressed Therrien in his season debut last week against the Edmonton Oilers, and Therrien will insert him for Jarred Tinordi on the team's third defensive pairing, where he'll play with Francis Bouillon.

Winnipeg is in the middle of a six-game homestand and picked up a badly needed win Sunday at home, beating the Devils in front of Al Montoya. The Jets' backup goaltender made his first start, giving workhorse Ondrej Pavelec a rare break, and helped the Jets end a three-game losing streak.

However, Jets coach Claude Noel will return to Pavelec, who will start for the sixth time in seven games this season.

Noel shuffled his forward lines before meeting the Devils and the move paid off. Evander Kane, shifted to the top line, scored two goals. Noel will use the same lineup against the Canadiens, including scratching defenseman Grant Clitsome again.

Noel said he will be looking for another strong effort and said he sees the game as a potential building block toward eliminating the inconsistency that has long plagued the Jets.

"We have to play with energy and play a 60-minute game," he said after the team's morning skate. "What we wanted to raise was our compete level. Our success is going to be determined by our drive and our battle level and our compete level. You're not going to get the 60 minutes unless you get the work ethic and the battle level going."

Here are the expected lineups for the Canadiens and Jets on Tuesday:

CANADIENS

Alex Galchenyuk - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher

Max Pacioretty - Lars Eller - Brian Gionta

Brandon Prust - David Desharnais - Rene Bourque

Travis Moen - Ryan White - Daniel Briere

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban

Josh Gorges - Raphael Diaz

Nathan Beaulieu - Francis Bouillon

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Michael Bournival, Jarred Tinordi

Injured: Davis Drewiske (shoulder), Alexei Emelin (knee), Douglas Murray (upper body), George Parros (concussion)

JETS

Evander Kane - Bryan Little - Blake Wheeler

Andrew Ladd - Mark Scheifele - Michael Frolik

Eric Tangradi - Olli Jokinen - Devin Setoguchi

James Wright - Jim Slater - Matt Halischuk

Tobias Enstrom - Dustin Byfuglien

Zach Bogosian - Jacob Trouba

Mark Stuart - Paul Postma

Ondrej Pavelec

Al Montoya

Scratched: Grant Clitsome, Anthony Peluso

Injured: Chris Thorburn (lower body)

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery