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Game Day - Avalanche - Nov. 2

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

- The Canadiens held an optional skate on Saturday morning at the Pepsi Center in Denver ahead of their game against the Avalanche. Seven Habs players took part in the skate, including Max Pacioretty, Ryan White, Michael Blunden, Greg Pateryn, George Parros and goaltenders Peter Budaj and Carey Price. Goaltending coach Stephane Waite was on the ice as well for the duration of the on-ice session.

- Budaj will be making his third start of the season for the Canadiens on Saturday night against the Avs. The Slovakian netminder holds a 54-37-13 lifetime record at the Pepsi Center with a 2.63 GAA. Saturday night’s tilt will mark Budaj’s first career start in the building as a member of the Canadiens. He called the Pepsi Center home as a member of the Avalanche for six seasons.

- Max Pacioretty will return to the Canadiens lineup on Saturday night for the first time since suffering a left hamstring strain on Oct. 15 in a game against the Jets in Winnipeg. Absent for the last nine games, the power forward, who has amassed two goals and three points in five games thus far this season, has been chomping at the bit to return to action.

"A few days ago, they made a plan for me that I would play one of the two games on the trip. Obviously, I wanted to play them both. I have to do everything I can to help the team win tonight," affirmed Pacioretty, who as of the morning skate hadn't been made aware of his linemates for the tilt against head coach Patrick Roy's squad. "I felt bad for about a week after the injury. I’ve been feeling 100 percent for around a week now. I’m ready to play my game."

- Prior to the start of Saturday night’s game, the Avalanche will raise defenseman Adam Foote’s number 52 to the rafters at the Pepsi Center. Foote spent 17 of his 19 NHL seasons in the Nordiques/Avalanche organization. The ceremony will be held at 6:55 p.m. MT.

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