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Game Day – Sharks – December 15

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens

- The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Tuesday morning ahead of hosting the San Jose Sharks at the Bell Centre.


 

- Goaltender Dustin Tokarski’s third start of the season will also be his third in a row for the Habs. The 26-year-old is coming off a 3-2 loss in Detroit on Thursday and a 3-1 win against Ottawa on Saturday. Tokarski has a 0.912 save percentage and 2.61 goals against average over 138 minutes of ice time in 2015-16.
 

- Torrey Mitchell will be back in the lineup after missing the last 11 games with a lower body injury. Mitchell will replace Charles Hudon and practiced on a line with Sven Andrighetto and Brian Flynn.

“I’m going to keep things simple. I missed three weeks of action and will need to find my bearings on the ice,” admitted the 30-year-old who returns in time to face the team which drafted him in 2004.

Mitchell's return notably gives head coach Michel Therrien another weapon on a penalty kill unit that is currently enjoying a 90.6% efficiency.

“We watched film of the Sharks’ power play unit this morning. They’ve got a dangerous group,” continued the Greenfield Park, QC native. “We’ll have to be disciplined and not give up any chances.”
 

- The Sharks arrive in Montreal having lost their last six, while the Habs snapped a four-game skid against the Senators on Saturday in convincing fashion, winning 3-1 at home.

Having jumped out to an early 2-0 lead against the Sens, the Canadiens will be counting on a similarly quick start against San Jose.

“That’s the challenge with playing professional sports -- bringing the same intensity every night. They’re a good, experienced team, and are capable of putting the puck in the net,” acknowledged P.K. Subban, who has one assist in five career meetings with the Sharks.

If the Canadiens are going to become the second team to reach 100-plus goals scored this season -- the club is currently sitting at 99 -- then Subban insists its trademark speed will be key.

“We’re going to have to play solid defensively, and come hard on the forecheck. They’re smart in terms of how they take away your options, so we’re going to have to move the puck quickly and move ourselves as well.”
 

- Flynn will play his 200th career game in the NHL on Tuesday. Since making his big-league debut with the Buffalo Sabres on March 2, 2013, Flynn has registered 21 goals and 28 assists in his first 199 games played, and is currently on pace for career bests in both categories this season.

“He’s contributing to this team and he’s a key role player,” dished Alex Galchenyuk of the 27-year-old forward who counts four goals and four assists through 31 games in 2015-16. “His speed and skill allow him to make great plays, and he’s been a big part of this team since arriving here. I’m happy for him because he’s a great guy and a great player.”

Flynn has averaged a point per game against the Sharks, with two goals and an assist over three career meetings with San Jose.
 

- Forward lines and defensive pairings at practice:

Fleischmann – Desharnais – Carr

Andrighetto – Mitchell – Flynn

Pacioretty – Plekanec – Byron

Weise – Galchenyuk – Eller

Hudon
 

Markov - Subban

Beaulieu - Gilbert

Petry – Emelin

Pateryn – Tinordi
 

- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. EST at the Bell Centre, on RDS and SNE.
 
 
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Game preview: Canadiens vs Sharks
Torrey's time

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