Nikitin, who has two assists and six penalty minutes in seven games this season, suffered an upper body injury at Minnesota on Jan. 29 and is expected to be sidelined up to a week.
The 25-year-old Holden has four goals and 18 assists with 26 penalty minutes and a plus-13 rating in 44 games with Springfield this season. Holden was scoreless in his only five NHL games with the Blue Jackets during the 2010-11 season.
It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.
— Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threatening illness