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At the Rink blog

Emelin to make season debut for Canadiens

Saturday, 11.16.2013 / 5:41 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Emelin to make season debut for Canadiens

Montreal Canadiens defenseman Alexei Emelin will make his season debut Saturday at Bell Centre against the New York Rangers. The Russian defenseman has been out seven months since undergoing reconstructive knee surgery following a collision with Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins on AprIL 6.

Emelin had the procedure to repair the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee in May. Until the injury, Emelin was enjoying a breakout season in Montreal, establishing career highs in assists (nine), points (12) and plus-minus (plus-2) in his second NHL season.

The Canadiens have been anticipating the return of the 27-year-old. A third-round pick (No. 84) in the 2004 NHL Draft, Emelin provides a physical element to the Montreal defense that has been missing in the early part of this season. Though he missed the final 10 games of 2012-13, Emelin finished first on the Canadiens with 110 hits.

With Emelin back in the lineup, Douglas Murray, who signed with Montreal as a free agent in August, will be a healthy scratch.

Quote of the Day

I definitely think going back down helped me, I had a lot of confidence down there, I played a lot of minutes and I think that helped me a lot. With the 37 games up here, that gave me experience as well. I know what it takes to play in the NHL and now it's time for me to show that I'm capable of being a full-time NHL player.

— Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl on finishing the 2014-15 season in juniors after playing 37 games with Edmonton to begin the season