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At the Rink blog

Projected lineups for Jets, Canadiens

Wednesday, 01.04.2012 / 2:56 PM

By Arpon Basu - Managing Editor / At the Rink blog

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At the Rink blog
Projected lineups for Jets, Canadiens
MONTREAL -- Here are the expected lineups for tonight's game, though the Canadiens held an optional skate so changes are possible by game time:


Blake Wheeler - Tim Stapleton - Evander Kane
Andrew Ladd - Nik Antropov - Kyle Wellwood
Eric Fehr - Alexander Burmistrov - Chris Thorburn
Tanner Glass - Jim Slater - Antti Miettinen

Tobias Enstrom - Ron Hainsey
Johnny Oduya - Zach Bogosian
Mark Stuart - Randy Jones

Ondrej Pavelec
Chris Mason

The Jets will welcome back two players from injuries, while another looks to be approaching a return. Regular top line center Bryan Little skated with his teammates for the first time since suffering a foot injury on Dec. 17, costing him the last six games.

"It felt good," Little said. "I'd say I'm day-to-day now."

Little ruled out a return against Montreal or Thursday night in Toronto, but said it was possible in Buffalo on Saturday.

Defenseman Dustin Byfuglien remains out for the Jets, but Jones will return to the lineup after missing practically the entire season with two injuries. An ankle ailment cost him 15 games earlier this season, and then after two games in the lineup he suffered a back injury that has kept him out of the last nine contests.

Slater will also return after missing two games with an upper-body injury.

Pavelec has a 4-2-1 record with a 2.10 goals-against average, a .934 save percentage and two shutouts in seven career games against Montreal.


Erik Cole - Tomas Plekanec - Michael Cammalleri
Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Andrei Kostitsyn
Travis Moen - Lars Eller - Michael Blunden
Mathieu Darche - Petteri Nokelainen - Chris Campoli

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Raphael Diaz
Hal Gill - Tomas Kaberle  

Carey Price
Peter Budaj

For the Canadiens, captain Brian Gionta skated with the team for a second straight day but is not ready to return from a groin injury that has cost him 10 games, though it appears he should be back for Saturday night's home game against Tampa.

Center Scott Gomez, wing Ryan White and defenseman Andrei Markov remain out, though Gomez and White are skating on their own.

Campoli, a defenseman, is expected to dress as a forward in the place of rookie Louis Leblanc.
Quote of the Day

You get the right the whistles at the right times, you can leave him out there. He's a beast when it comes to being on the ice. I thought [Saturday] he was a big man. That first period, he did that lateral cut and it was like three bowling pins bounced off him. There's not too many guys that can do that.

— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on Alex Ovechkin, who enters February tied for the NHL lead in goals