- The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Wednesday morning ahead of their tilt against the Red Wings. The Habs, who lead Detroit by six points in the atlantic division standings, are looking to build on a three-game winning streak.
- Carey Price and P.K. Subban were back at practice for the first time since returning from the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Price, however, left the ice after turning aside a few shots. He did not return for the remainder of the on-ice session.
“It’s a lower-body injury that he aggravated during the Olympics. We want to ensure that he’s completely healthy when he returns to the lineup. His situation is one that we’ll be evaluating day by day,” mentioned head coach Michel Therrien, who went on to add that Price will not make the trip to Pittsburgh following Wednesday night’s contest and as a result will miss at least the next two games. “We’ll check on his status for practice on Friday ahead of the game on Saturday.”
- In Price’s absence, the Canadiens have recalled goaltender Dustin Tokarski from the Hamilton Bulldogs.
- Peter Budaj will get the start in goal against Detroit. It will be his 12th start of the season. Budaj has a 5-4-2 record and a 3.10 goals-against average in 11 appearances against Detroit over the course of his NHL career.
“We have complete faith in Peter. His teammates do, too. He always gives us a good performance. We have to take this one game at a time,” underlined Therrien, who will put Budaj between the pipes for back-to-back games for the first time this season. “A guy like Peter just needs to continue playing the same way he has all year. That’s the message Stephane Waite has given him. He doesn’t have to put any additional pressure on his shoulders.”
- After missing the last 15 games with a broken hand, Alex Galchenyuk will return to the Canadiens’ lineup on Wednesday night. The 20-year-old forward suffered the injury back on Jan. 6 in a tilt against the Florida Panthers. Skating alongside Lars Eller and Rene Bourque at practice, Galchenyuk is excited to return to active duty and is looking forward to contributing on the scoresheet as soon as possible.
“I don’t know if my hand is really 100%. Whatever the case may be, what matters most is to know whether I can go out there and perform at the level that I’d like to. I feel good,” offered Galchenyuk. “I don’t know what percentage I’ll be operating at, but I feel comfortable with the moves I make out there on the ice and I can’t wait to play.”
- Jarred Tinordi will also suit up against the Red Wings after being called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs on Sunday. Tinordi, who practiced alongside Douglas Murray on Wednesday morning, last suited up for the Canadiens back on Oct. 19, and has been featured in Michel Therrien’s lineup for six games during the 2013-14 campaign. The rugged rearguard is adamant that his extended AHL stint was time well spent.
“I like to think that there’s a big difference since the last time I was up with the big club. I wasn’t playing my best hockey towards the end of the stretch there. I was sent down to Hamilton with things to work on. I think I’ve done a good job of working on those things. I feel good,” offered Tinordi, who racked up nine penalty minutes during his time with the Canadiens earlier this year. “Now, I’m just going to try and play my game. I want to play physical. I want to play in your face hockey, hold a tight gap and have a good stick. I want to move the puck quickly. I’ve said it 100 times and it’s just a work in progress. There are always things I need to keep working on.”
- The Red Wings have been bitten by the injury bug throughout 2013-14, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a formidable opponent, even without the likes of Henrik Zetterberg and Stephen Weiss in the lineup. Knowing full well that Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock will have his soldiers ready for battle, Ryan White put the Canadiens’ upcoming opponent in perspective on Wednesday morning. Needless to say, the 25-year-old centerman has a healthy respect for a team that is looking to earn a playoff spot for a 23rd consecutive season.
“They’re the Red Wings. I’m sure that they’ve got some aces up their sleeve. They’ve got some young kids that can all play. I think Darren Helm has been good for them since he’s been back,” offered White. “We’ve got enough guys to worry about on that team.”
- Brandon Prust skated on the Bell Sports Complex’s secondary ice rink during the morning skate alongside strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard. The power forward continues to recover from an upper-body injury.
- Davis Drewiske returned to practice on Wednesday morning after leaving the team for personal reasons last week. He practiced alongside Francis Bouillon during the morning skate.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Lines and D pairings at practice:
Gallagher – Desharnais – Pacioretty
Bourque – Eller – Galchenyuk
Weise – White – Moen
Gionta – Plekanec – Briere
Markov – Emelin
Subban – Gorges
Murray – Tinordi
Drewiske – Bouillon