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Canadiens likely to stick with what's worked

Thursday, 05.08.2014 / 1:42 PM

By Arpon Basu - Managing Editor LNH.com / Bruins-Canadiens series blog

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Canadiens likely to stick with what's worked

BROSSARD, Quebec -- The Montreal Canadiens are not expected to make any changes to a winning lineup when they face the Boston Bruins for Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series on Thursday at Bell Centre (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Canadiens lead the best-of-7 series 2-1 and have an opportunity to put the Bruins on the verge of elimination.

Coach Michel Therrien would not confirm anything, but defenseman Francis Bouillon and forward Brandon Prust remained on the ice long after the optional morning skate, suggesting each will be scratched for a second straight game.

That means forward Travis Moen and defenseman Douglas Murray should remain in lineup.

Therrien has already expressed how happy he was with the new line of Brendan Gallagher with Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais that he put together for the 4-2 win in Game 3 on Tuesday.

The trio did not score, however, and the duo of Pacioretty and Desharnais has one point at even strength in seven games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Pacioretty led the Canadiens and was fourth in the NHL during the regular season with 39 goals, with 28 of them coming at even strength.

He is still looking for his first even-strength goal of the playoffs, but Therrien is sure it will come soon.

"I like his work ethic, he skates well," Therrien said. "I'm not worried about [Pacioretty] because I like the way he competes, I like his attitude and I know eventually he'll find the net."

Desharnais said having Gallagher return to his line changes the dynamic somewhat compared to when Thomas Vanek played on his right wing. With a player known for his hard work on his line, one might believe that frees up Desharnais and Pacioretty from doing some of that dirty work along the walls.

Not so, said Desharnais.

"We need to support him in the corners, win our battles," he said. "He definitely works extremely hard, but playing with Vanek we play with the puck a bit more and make some little plays.

"It's more about winning battles with Brendan."

Something to watch for in Game 4 is whether the Bruins will force the Canadiens to play catch-up hockey.

Montreal has either led or been tied for the vast majority of the seven games it has played in these playoffs, allowing the Canadiens to play a trapping, counter-attacking style that can force mistakes from their opposition.

According to defenseman Josh Gorges, however, that is in fact not his team's style.

"The focus on our system is not so much when we get that lead to just sit back and trap and try to create turnovers off their mistakes," he said. "For us to be successful, and we were better last game than we were the first two games, we're pushing.

"We're pushing the pace, we're in their face, we're on the attack, we're hard on our forecheck. When we do that, we create those neutral zone transition plays for ourselves. So even if we are behind, I think that's the same focus."

Here are the projected lineups:

BRUINS

Milan LucicDavid KrejciJarome Iginla

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronReilly Smith

Matt FraserCarl SoderbergLoui Eriksson

Daniel PailleGregory CampbellShawn Thornton

Zdeno CharaDougie Hamilton

Andrej MeszarosJohnny Boychuk

Torey KrugKevan Miller

Tuukka Rask

Chad Johnson

Scratched: Jordan Caron, Matt Bartkowski

Injured: Dennis Seidenberg (ACL/MCL), Chris Kelly (back), Adam McQuaid (ankle), Corey Potter (upper body)

CANADIENS

Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisBrendan Gallagher

Michael BournivalTomas PlekanecThomas Vanek

Rene BourqueLars EllerBrian Gionta

Travis MoenDaniel BriereDale Weise

Josh GorgesP.K. Subban

Andrei MarkovAlexei Emelin

Douglas MurrayMike Weaver

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Ryan White, George Parros, Brandon Prust, Francis Bouillon

Injured: Alex Galchenyuk (lower body)

Quote of the Day

[He's] real confident with the puck now, getting it off his stick quick and no second-guessing. We need that. He's such a good guy in the room. He works so hard. That's the big thing. For not a big man, he just fights for every puck and when he scores, the guys appreciate that even more.

— Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice on Mathieu Perreault, who scored two goals in win against Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday