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Game Day Blog - Canadiens vs. Panthers - April 5

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

BROSSARD - The Canadiens hit the ice in Brossard ahead of Tuesday night’s contest on home ice against the Florida Panthers. The Habs will be looking to payback Florida for last Saturday’s 4-3 loss in Sunrise, where the Panthers scored four unanswered goals to comeback and steal the two points.

- A big media gathering awaited John Scott following the Habs morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex. The veteran forward - acquired by the Canadiens back in January – will be pulling on the Canadiens jersey for the first time on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.

“It’s one thing to hear all of the attention, but when I go home and skype my family it puts everything into perspective. I’m not famous at home. They help ground me.” clarified Scott, who was recently recalled by the Canadiens from the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL with the intention of rewarding the veteran’s hard work and professionalism with a one-game call up. “If it is my last game then so be it, like I said a million times it could be worse, it’s good way to go out with the Canadiens. The AHL is still really good hockey though. The league is arguably the second best league in the world. It was fun to play with developing players like McCarron and Scherbak in St. John’s, and the coaches and staff have been really great to me. It was a lot better than I had originally thought it would be.”

- With regards to lineup changes, Ryan Johnston will also be suiting up for his first career game as members of the Montreal Canadiens. The Sudbury, Ontario native - who has collected nine assists in 34 games in his rookie campaign with the IceCaps this season – will become the Habs 15th defenseman to play a game with the injury riddled Canadiens this season.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I talked to my dad this morning and he’s coming up for the game. It’s been a real roller-coaster ride. Getting called up and then finding out yesterday that I will actually be playing. I don’t think it will really hit me until I am walking out of the tunnel to see the Bell Centre crowd looking down on me. It’s going to be a very, very special night,” noted Johnston, who has had trouble containing the wide grin on his face all throughout his first few days with the Canadiens. “With the season I’ve had this year with having surgery and not playing half the year, I would have been perfectly happy if they kept me in the minors this year or even if I needed to put another year of work into the minors because I want to work my way up to the NHL and prove I belong. I am getting this opportunity now because there are unfortunately a lot of injuries in the organization. I am definitely happy that I got the call. I was expecting to finish my season in St. John’s so I definitely can’t complain. I’m just happy to be here.”

- Brendan Gallagher, who scored his 19th goal of the season in his return to the lineup on April 2 in sunny Florida, is sticking on the Habs top line completed my Alex Galchenyuk and Max Pacioretty. The trio, who were united in the aftermath of Gallagher’s return, most recently combined to open the scoring in Saturday night’s 4-3 loss to the Panthers.

“The 1st time in Winnipeg, it only lasted two shifts, it was nice to be able to play a whole game together against Florida. We’re just trying hard to gain chemistry now, because it’s something we can return to next year. It is easy for me to do my job alongside those two. The way that Chucky handles the puck can create open space for his line mates, and with Patch, the attention that he draws makes it a lot easier for me to get out on the ice and do my job.”

- Between the pipes, netminder Mike Condon will be called upon to start his career high 54th game of the season after kicking aside 35 of the 39 shots he faced in Saturday's loss to the Panthers.

- With regards to lineup changes, the Habs also confirmed that Stefan Matteau and Mike Brown will sit out Tuesday night’s clash as healthy scratches.

- Puck drop for the Canadiens vs. Panthers match-up is set 7:30 p.m, tune in as John Scott looks to establish a new favorite Bell Centre moment.

“My favorite Bell Centre moment as an opponent was actually with P.K. Subban. We were mixing it up and he asked me to fight and I just smiled and said ‘okay, let’s go’ sarcastically,” laughed Scott, whose arrival has most certainly helped lighten the mood in the Canadiens dressing room. “I think I might have gotten a penalty on that play also, for a bit of a sucker punch or something. Other than that it’s just about the fans and their songs and chants. It’s just a special building to play in.”

Words from the room: April 5
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Weekly overview

South Florida summary

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