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Game Day – Hurricanes – April 7

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

The Canadiens hit the ice in Raleigh for one final road practice ahead of Thursday night’s game against the Hurricanes.

- Following practice, head coach Michel Therrien began his media opp with some well wishes for Jacques Demers. The former Canadiens head coach was hospitalized on Wednesday night after suffering a stroke, but is now in stable condition.

“I’d like to take a moment, on behalf of myself and the entire organization, to wish Jacques a speedy recovery. We heard the news this morning, and hope he’s doing better.”

- For the first time since 2001-02, a fifth goaltender in a single season will get the start for the Canadiens on Thursday.

Charlie Lindgren was acquired from the St. Cloud State Huskies in the NCHC a week ago, and with 30 wins in 40 games, the 22-year-old put up a 0.925 save percentage and 2.13 goals against average during his 2015-16 collegiate campaign.

Although the netminder did not meet the media pregame, his teammates were eager to find out what he’s capable of.

“If there’s a position you want a new guy to jump into, it’s goalie. You don’t have to worry as much about systems as some of the other positions,” explained captain Max Pacioretty. “It’s a good spot for him, it’s an opportunity for him to show what he’s made of. At this point of the season there’s not much pressure, so he can go out there and play his game and I’m excited to see how it turns out.”

- The Canadiens conclude their final road trip of the season on Thursday, and will look to the rookie netminder for inspiration.

“We’re always looking for that little extra push right now. At home it’s easy to get motivated, but on the road in a position like this -- two teams that are out of the playoffs -- you sometimes need to search for that extra push,” continued Pacioretty. “Helping him get that first win is a good thing for us to rally around.”

While not exactly a mulligan for last Tuesday, Ryan Johnston, who will be playing his second NHL game on Thursday, agrees.

“Obviously I would have liked to have a win in my first game, but as a goalie it’s probably even more important, because you can be held responsible more than others -- I hope he’s not listening to me say this,” joked the 24-year-old rearguard who made his NHL debut in a 4-1 loss to the Panthers. “It would definitely be good to get him a win.”

- Mike Brown will be back in the lineup on Thursday, while Stefan Matteau and Brian Flynn will be the night’s scratches.

- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. from PNC Arena, and will be broadcast live on RDS and Sportsnet.

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