- The Canadiens held an optional morning skate on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia ahead of their tilt against the Flyers. Following the game, the Habs will travel to Tampa Bay where they’ll close out their four-game road trip on Monday night against the Lightning.
- Seventeen players, including both goaltenders, took part in the skate. The only players absent were Max Pacioretty, Rene Bourque, Manny Malhotra, David Desharnais, Mike Weaver and Tom Gilbert. They elected to participate in off-ice workouts instead in preparation for the Canadiens’ third game of the season.
- Alexei Emelin did not skate on Saturday morning as head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that the Russian rearguard is day-to-day with an upper-body injury sustained in the tilt against the Capitals on Thursday night in Washington. As such, Emelin will not suit up against the Flyers on Saturday night. Jarred Tinordi will take his place in the lineup and make his 2014-15 regular-season debut.
“I feel good. I’m excited. Not knowing when I was going to play was tough, but I’m in and I’m excited,” offered Tinordi, who played 22 games for the Canadiens last season. “I’ve never played here before, so it’s awesome. I’m excited. I’ve heard good things about playing here.”
- Therrien indicated that he would not reveal his lines ahead of the tilt in Philadelphia. There’s a good chance, however, that both Michael Bournival and Travis Moen will be healthy scratches as the pair skated long after the morning skate had already wrapped up. That suggests that Dale Weise could be back in the lineup after sitting out the Canadiens’ last game in Washington.
- The City of Brotherly Love has been anything but kind to the Canadiens in recent years. The Habs haven’t registered a win in Philadelphia since April 2010, a span of 10 straight games, including playoffs. Michel Therrien’s troops are perfectly aware of that stat, and they know full well what they have to do to snap that double-digit losing streak.
“I think it’s about time we won here. Philly is a physical team. It’s a pretty hostile building. The fans are loud and they really get into it. We’ve got to be on our toes, and we can’t have a first period like we did last game in Washington. We’ve got to come out hard and help out Pricer,” stressed Eller, who, based on the lines featured at practice on Friday, could line up alongside Rene Bourque and Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau on Saturday night. “We should be excited and play with confidence because we’re 2-0. We’ve had the start we wanted. There are no excuses tonight.”
The Canadiens’ bench boss shared similar sentiments on Saturday morning.
“We’ll have to play an intense game for 60 straight minutes. I really like the way we’ve been playing in the second and third periods. Now, our challenge is get off to a good start and impose our rhythm,” offered Therrien. “We’re playing a team with a lot of depth on offense. It’s always a challenge playing against them. We’re going to look to get off to a good start.”
- Carey Price will get the start in goal for the Canadiens, while Ray Emery will make his first start of the season for the Flyers.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.