PHILADELPHIA -- The Montreal Canadiens and Philadelphia Flyers will have something in common when they play Thursday at Wells Fargo Center. Both teams will be looking to move past dismal previous performances.
"You'll see two teams that want to bounce back from their last performance," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "That should be a good hockey game."
Therrien said knowing the character of his team, he's confident the players will return with a better effort Thursday.
"Games like that one we played last game, it happens to every team," Therrien said. "It's a matter of how you bounce back, how's your attitude. I like the team attitude we got and I expect we're going to bounce back from that performance. We got a lot of character and we want to bounce back. They can't wait for the opportunity to play again to make sure that's behind us."
Daniel Briere will be looking to focus on the game, rather than all the things surrounding it. It's his first game in Philadelphia as a visiting player since he was bought out of the final two years of his contract in June. Briere had spent the previous six seasons with the Flyers.
"It was a little weird walking in this morning, taking the visitors' entrance instead of what I've been used to for the last six years," Briere said. "But it's also a good feeling coming back here, seeing a lot of familiar faces and people that I've had a lot of good times with the past few years."
Briere said he wasn't sure what to expect from the fans in Philadelphia, saying he remembered how Mike Richards was treated when he returned for the first time as a member of the Kings -- a warm pre-game greeting followed by boos every time he touched the puck.
Regardless of how he's treated Thursday, Briere said the Philadelphia area "will always have a special place in my heart." Briere's three sons still live in the region and he's said on numerous occasions he plans on spending his post-hockey days in the area.
"All I can say is thank you [to the fans] for all the good memories," Briere said. "It was a great ride. This place is special to me. It's going to stay my home. I had a great time. For all the critics that you hear about [Philadelphia fans] being bad fans ... I try to defend them as much as possible because I know the other side and how supportive they are of their teams and their players. All I can say to that is thank you."
The Canadiens held an optional practice Thursday morning, while the Flyers had just three players on the ice after a late return flight from Chicago.
Philadelphia did make one roster move Tuesday, signing forward Chris VandeVelde to a one-year contract. VandeVelde was one of the Flyers' final cuts from training camp and has been with their American Hockey League team, the Adirondack Phantoms. In 23 AHL games he has seven goals and six assists. He's played 28 NHL games in parts of the previous three seasons, all with the Edmonton Oilers.
To make room on the roster, forward Tye McGinn was returned to the AHL.
Here are the projected lineups for the Canadiens and Flyers:
Injured: Vincent Lecavalier (back)