- The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Saturday morning ahead of their tilt against the Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre. The Habs will be looking to snap a three-game losing streak.
- Before the start of practice, Clement Jodoin spent about half an hour working on the power play on one side of the ice, while Stephane Waite, for his part, spent one-on-one time with Carey Price, who will be returning to NHL action on Saturday night for the first time since Feb. 8. It will be Price’s 49th start of the season.
“Carey Price will play tonight. It’s great news. He had a really good day at practice on Friday. He went through that process. He worked really hard and felt good. We met with him after practice, and we were saying yesterday that we’d see how he was feeling this morning. We met with him and the medical staff and they confirmed that he’s ready to play,” offered head coach Michel Therrien, who was visibly excited to confirm the return of his starter after an eight-game absence. “He’s had his mindset since Thursday that he wanted to make a comeback. He’s got to think like that. He looked really good yesterday. He looked good again this morning.”
- The lines Michel Therrien utilized during the morning skate were the same as those fielded by the Canadiens bench boss at practice on Friday morning. Defenseman Mike Weaver could be a healthy scratch, while forwards Rene Bourque, Ryan White and George Parros could also be scratches against Ottawa.
- Daniel Briere will be playing alongside a few familiar faces come Saturday night. The 36-year-old, who has gone pointless in his last six games, will be reunited on a line with Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta to form a trio that saw its fair share of success earlier this season. Briere, who hasn’t lit the lamp since posting a two-goal effort on Feb. 27 in Pittsburgh, is hopeful the line can click quickly against the Senators.
“It’s exciting. I love the look of our lineup. I think we can be dangerous. Obviously, it’s a great chance once again for me. Our line had a lot of success the first few games we played together. I’m looking forward to it,” praised Briere, who has 17 goals and 40 points in 46 career games against Ottawa. “For some reason, it works out. Sometimes chemistry is tough to explain. If you would’ve said which players I would’ve had the most chemistry with at the beginning of the year, I probably wouldn’t have picked them. But, it works. We just to seem to know where each other is out there. Hopefully, it translates once again on the ice.”
- Thomas Vanek has spent the better part of his NHL career playing on the left side of the ice, but the 30-year-old winger will see some time on the right side against the Senators. That suits the Austrian-born forward just fine, most notably because he’ll have the opportunity to play with a pair of offensive threats in their own right in Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais.
“It’s fine. Obviously, I’ve played the majority of my career on the left, but any time you get the opportunity to play with two good players, I think you take it and you make the best of it,” noted Vanek, who has one assist in three games since being dealt to the Canadiens back on Mar. 5. “We’ve had a good couple of practices together.”
- Michael Bournival, who is still listed on injured reserve, skated alongside Bourque and Parros, rotating in and out with Ryan White.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.
Projected lineup vs. OTT:
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