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Game Day - Senators - November 3

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

- After a day off on Monday, the Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex on Tuesday morning in preparation for their tilt against the Ottawa Senators at the Bell Centre. Michel Therrien’s troops will be looking to remain undefeated on home ice, coming out on top in their five previous outings in front of the Bell Centre faithful.

- The Canadiens’ bench boss won’t be featuring any lineup changes on Tuesday night against Ottawa. That means that forward Alexander Semin and defensemen Jarred Tinordi and Greg Pateryn will once again be healthy scratches.

- While Therrien announced that his lineup will remain unchanged, he did make several notable modifications to his lines during Sunday night’s tilt against Winnipeg that will carry over into Tuesday night’s contest.

“At the start of the second period on Sunday, we put Devo [Devante Smith-Pelly] with [Alex] Galchenyuk and [Lars] Eller. We’ll keep that going again tonight,” offered Therrien, before expanding upon the situation Semin now finds himself in as a healthy scratch for a fourth straight game. “It’s a long year. We like our line combinations right now. We like the speed and the chemistry. He’s a good player. I know it. The next time he’ll have a chance to play he’ll be able to follow the pace.”

- Ottawa native Paul Byron will be making his fourth straight appearance for the CH on Tuesday night. It will be particularly special for the 26-year-old winger who will not only be going up against his hometown team, but experiencing one of the Canadiens’ newest rivalries, too.

“This is kind of the rivalry right now. That’s what happens when you play each other a few times in the playoffs. You get those heated battles,” offered Byron, who boasts two short-handed goals on his resume in three previous outings with the Canadiens. “I’ve got a lot of friends and family back home that are Senators fans. I know they’ll be watching tonight, so I’ve got to have a good one.”

While some players might be disappointed with taking in the action from upstairs, that certainly wasn’t the case for Byron. The QMJHL grad made the most of his time as a healthy scratch through the first 10 games of the year, and he’s making it perfectly clear that it was nothing short of a positive experience, especially with a new team.

“I think the best thing that happened to me was sitting in the press box and letting myself get familiar with the team and get familiar with the players on the ice. I think if I maybe would have been thrown in right away, it would have been a little bit more difficult to adjust,” stressed Byron, who was claimed off waivers from the Calgary Flames on October 6. “Having that time to practice and really get a good feel for how this team does things, it certainly benefited me, for sure.”

Head coach Michel Therrien did everything conceivably possible to make Byron feel comfortable in his new hockey home, and the results simply speak for themselves.

“He was a part of all the team meetings. I wanted him to be there to learn the structure of our team. He also got to know his teammates,” mentioned Therrien. “When he hit the ice, he was in a better position to understand our structure. Eventually, it will become second nature for him.”

- Canadiens assigned defenseman Greg Pateryn to the AHL St. John's IceCaps for conditioning purposes.

- With Carey Price sidelined due to injury, Mike Condon will make his third straight start in goal on Tuesday night. Up to this point, Condon has given up just six goals in four starts while picking up four wins along the way. Still, Tuesday night’s outing will mark Condon’s second start against Ottawa, having paced the Canadiens to a 3-1 victory on October 11 at the Canadian Tire Centre.

“The guys feel really comfortable with Mike in goal. He’s aggressive and calm at the same time. He’s been playing well,” explained Therrien, referencing his goaltender’s impressive 1.50 goals-against average and .944 save percentage. “Carey is practically the best player in the NHL, so we definitely want him in goal. But, with the way Mike is playing, we still have confidence that we have a chance to win every game.”

- The Senators will be without the services of their leading point-getter, Mark Stone, on Tuesday night. He will be serving the first of a two-game suspension for an illegal hit to the head of Detroit Red Wings forward Landon Ferraro during Ottawa's 5-3 loss on Saturday. Dave Cameron’s squad will, however, be welcoming back both Curtis Lazar and Mike Hoffman. The pair have been sidelined as of late due to injury.

- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on RDS, Rogers Sportsnet and City Montreal.

Probable lineup against Ottawa:

Pacioretty – Plekanec – Gallagher
Eller – Galchenyuk – Smith-Pelly
Weise – Desharnais – Fleischmann
Byron – Mitchell – Flynn

Emelin - Petry
Markov – Subban
Gilbert - Beaulieu
Pateryn – Tinordi


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Game Preview: Senators @ Canadiens
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