- The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Friday morning ahead of their tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Bell Centre.
- Defenseman Jeff Petry, who missed the last four games due to a lower-body injury, took part in Friday’s morning skate. Head coach Michel Therrien confirmed, however, that Petry still isn’t ready to return to active duty just yet. He explained that the Canadiens’ athletic therapists just wanted to gauge his progress on the ice.
- The Canadiens confirmed that forward David Desharnais suffered a broken foot against the Arizona Coyotes on the team’s most recent road trip. He will be sidelined for the next three weeks.
- Therrien will not be featuring any lineup changes up front or on the back end against the Flyers, aside from making a switch in goal. That means that Tomas Fleischmann will miss a second straight game, while Mark Barberio will also be a healthy scratch on D.
“I really liked the way we played against the Avalanche. I thought we were aggressive, we skated well and moved the puck well, too. I liked the fact that the young players we called up all responded well. [Jacob] De La Rose had a good game at center on the third line. He was responsible. Lucas [Lessio] did the same thing on the fourth line. He used his speed and was strong on the forecheck,” explained Therrien. “There was good balance on all of our lines, even the one with Lars [Eller], Max [Pacioretty] and Sven [Andrighetto]. I liked the chemistry we showed, so we’re going to keep things the same.”
That also means that Lucas Lessio will be in the lineup against Philadelphia. You’ll recall that Lessio missed six games after taking a hit to the knee from Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas several weeks ago. Gudas was ejected from the game.
- P.K. Subban has clearly put Wednesday night’s loss to Colorado in the rearview mirror, particularly when it comes to the way things played out in the latter stages of the third period when his giveaway in Avalanche territory resulted in a rush that led to the game-winning goal.
Subban addressed the situation once again on Friday morning, emphasizing that his intentions on the ice are always geared towards helping the Canadiens best their opponents.
“My focus is on being the best player that I can be every night. When I was drafted in 2007, I remember telling Bob Gainey that I was going to do everything in my power to help this team win,” explained Subban. “That’s all I do every time I step on the ice, put on that jersey and I stand there for the national anthem. My focus is on helping my team win and doing everything I can to do it.”
For his part, captain Max Pacioretty expressed his unwavering support for the Canadiens’ No. 76 once again on Friday.
“I support P.K 100 percent. Everyone in this room supports all the players and the coaches. To try and say there’s a rift because of this is completely unfair and untrue,” said Pacioretty. “But, I understand the situation that we’re in and drawing up conclusions as to what people think the problem is. That isn’t the problem at all. P.K. is one of the best defensemen in the league and he has been for years. Mike has shown that he’s an unbelievable coach with the success that we’ve had and the success he’s had in the past as well. People are just here to do their jobs. There are no hard feelings between anybody.”
- Therrien’s troops will undoubtedly have to pay close attention to upstart Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere, who has been on a roll since January 19. He’s picked up points in each of his last 13 games, which is an all-time record for a rookie defenseman in the NHL ranks. He’s registered four goals and 16 points during that span. Gostisbehere leads all Flyers defenseman with 32 points in 38 games this season.
- Mike Condon will get the start in goal against Dave Hakstol’s contingent on Friday night. It will mark his 34th start of the year. Condon will be starting against Philadelphia for the second time this season. Back on February 2, the 25-year-old made 32 stops in a 4-2 loss in the City of Brotherly Love.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet East and RDS.
Lines and D pairings at practice:
Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gallagher
Pacioretty – Eller – Andrighetto
Byron – De La Rose – Weise
Lessio – Mitchell – DSP
Subban – Markov
Beaulieu – Gilbert
Emelin – Pateryn
Barberio – Petry
Words From The Room: Feb. 19
Game Preview: Canadiens vs. Flyers
Out to impress