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A tall task awaits the Weber-Chiarot pairing

Captain Shea Weber was back at practice on Thursday, and he skated alongside Ben Chiarot on the back end

by Pierre-Antoine Mercier, translated by Matt Cudzinowski @CanadiensMTL /

BROSSARD - Head coach Claude Julien unveiled his strategy for Friday night's game against the Capitals at Capital One Arena in Washington.

First up, the veteran bench boss confirmed that Carey Price would get the start in goal.

For his part, defenseman Shea Weber was back at practice with the rest of the group. The Canadiens' captain formed a pairing with Ben Chiarot, while Victor Mete skated alongside Jeff Petry.

Julien indicated that he planned to use the Weber-Chiarot duo against Alexander Ovechkin's line. He made a similar move against the Boston Bruins' top line on November 5.

"Ovechkin is big and strong. He's one of their best forwards. We want to try the same thing on our end. We'll put big and strong players up against him to try and slow him down," explained Julien, before the Canadiens departed for the District of Columbia.

Video: Claude Julien's press conference

Chiarot certainly logged his fair share of ice time when the Canadiens defeated the Blue Jackets earlier this week, registering 26:51 of playing time at the Bell Centre.

In addition, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound blueliner was utilized heavily while Julien's squad was short-handed. Chiarot logged 5:08 of ice time under those circumstances.

According to Julien, Chiarot appears to be feeling more and more comfortable with his new club.

"He's been playing good hockey lately. There isn't any hesitation in his game," mentioned Julien. "He understands the way we want him to play. Those are things that make him a better player compared to his start with us."

A busy night for Petry

While Chiarot played serious minutes on Tuesday night, Jeff Petry did as well.

The 31-year-old American defenseman was featured for 32:12 in the 3-2 shootout win over Columbus.

It marked the second-most minutes Petry has logged in a single game over the course of his NHL career.

His teammates wholeheartedly appreciate the work the Michigan native puts in game after game.

"Everyone in this locker room recognizes just how good a player he is. We saw the impact he had on our team immediately after he arrived," insisted assistant captain, Brendan Gallagher. "He does so many good things on the ice. We can use him in different situations."

Video: Brendan Gallagher on the play of Jeff Petry

Weber, meanwhile, is also appreciative of the incredible workload Petry has been tasked with and handled so well.

"It's good. He should play even more minutes," said Weber with a laugh.

Video: Shea Weber on the Capitals' power play

Talking soccer

There are soccer fans aplenty on the Canadiens' roster.

And it's safe to say that those players, in particular, were thrilled to learn of Thierry Henry's hiring by the Montreal Impact.

"It's huge to bring a star like that to the city. He's a legend. He's a big addition for the Impact," explained Tomas Tatar, who attended a game this past season at Stade Saputo.

Tweet from @impactmontreal: Tomas Tataaaaaaarrrrrrr, amoureux de Montr��al, du soccer et de l'Impact.@TomasTatar90 💙 Montreal, 💙 soccer, and 💙 the Impact.#IMFC #GoHabsGo #AllezMTL

Henry, who is the top goal-scorer in Arsenal history, has more than a few supporters amongst the Habs.

"There are a few Arsenal fans in here who were very happy to find out," said Gallagher, referencing the likes of Artturi Lehkonen and Christian Folin. "It's really cool for the city. Everybody knows what he represents in the sports world. It's a great addition for the city and the team. It's very exciting."

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