BROSSARD – On Tuesday morning, the Canadiens held an optional morning skate at the Bell Sports Complex, hours before Game 3 against the Bruins
- Carey Price took the option and did not skate. Dustin Tokarski and Peter Budaj were in net at practice.
- Rene Bourque, who missed Monday’s practice with the flu, was back on the ice.
- Eight forwards were on the ice: Brandon Prust, Tomas Plekanec, Brendan Gallagher, Rene Bourque, Travis Moen, Michael Bournival, Ryan White and George Parros.
- They were joined by six defensemen (Josh Gorges, Alexei Emelin, Francis Bouillon, Mike Weaver, Douglas Murray and Jarred Tinordi).
There were no line rushes during Tuesday’s morning skate, though there are reasons to believe that Douglas Murray will make his 2014 playoff debut in Game Three, he who practiced alongside Mike Weaver on Monday. The 34 year-old veteran’s heft could prove to be a difference-maker against the Bruins.
“I take a lot of pride in playing a tough but clean game. It depends on the game, but for sure I’ll try to be as physical as possible while staying within the limits of the rules,” explained the six-foot-three, 240 pound Murray, who could find himself assigned the unenviable task of defending Zdeno Chara’s netfront presence on the powerplay. “It’s a good challenge, trying to move Chara from the front of the net. He’s the biggest guy in a league and one of the toughest to battle with.”
Coach Michel Therrien preferred to keep his starting lineup a secret until Game Three’s opening faceoff, which means that Travis Moen and Ryan White, both scratches for Game Two in Boston, could draw back into the lineup at the Bell Centre on Tuesday night.
“I hope I’ll be in the lineup tonight. But it’s like every other day. I come to the rink ready to go. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to contribute,” said White, who was first on the ice during the morning skate and spent some time alone working on his skating and shooting. Though he hasn’t been counted on to carry the load offensively, White does bring a few noteworthy assets to the table in this rough-and-tumble series. “I just want to play my game. Be physical, be good in the faceoff circle and bring some energy.”
With the series deadlocked at one game-all, the focus has not changed for winger Brendan Gallagher, who turned 22 on Tuesday.
“You go into every night with the same expectations. You put in the work and hope to come out with the win,” offered the birthday boy, who in just his second NHL season has already become a go-to guy for his team at even strength and on the powerplay. “We put in a good day of practice. We practiced with a purpose, based on what we expect to see from the Bruins. Now it’s about executing and putting that game plan into practice.”
As for Boston’s four-goal outburst in the third period of Game Two, Gallagher was adamant that getting a lead in the first place is the Habs’ main priority.
“I don’t think that affects our confidence at all. We’ve been a good third period team all year. As a group when we settle in and get the lead early, it helps our game,” he said. “I don’t think momentum carries over from game to game at this stage. It can change simply change by winning the opening faceoff. We’re at home and playing in front of our crowd, so that’ll be a boost for us as well.”