BROSSARD -- The Canadiens practiced at the Bell Sports Complex on Thursday morning before flying to Columbus ahead of Friday's game against the Blue Jackets.
Andrew Shaw was the only player absent from the morning skate, although head coach Michel Therrien confirmed following practice that the 25-year-old would be making the trip to Ohio.
In Shaw's absence, Daniel Carr -- called up from St. John's along with Joel Hanley on Wednesday night -- completed a line with Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais.
For a team which has now won eight in a row -- and has yet to drop a decision in regulation time -- Wednesday's game against Vancouver still served as a warning of sorts to Therrien's men.
"It's nice to arrive in the morning and have the two points there, but we know it's time to get back to work at practice. We have to make sure that when the play is there we make it, and we have to start playing that way against Columbus [on Friday]," underlined Habs captain Max Pacioretty.Video: Pacioretty on areas of improvement
While you wouldn't know it by the scoreline, the Canadiens surrendered 42 shots to the Canucks -- at one point trailing 24-3 in that category.
"We worked on our execution this morning to make sure we're ready to work right from the start of the game tomorrow in Columbus," continued Therrien. "We know the Blue Jackets are a hardworking team, and they have a tough building to win in."
DIVIDE AND CONQUER
With the Habs playing a second set of back-to-back games in as many weeks beginning Friday, head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that he would stick to his winning formula of splitting the work between the pipes.
Al Montoya will thus get the start on Friday, his first since last Wednesday in Brooklyn.
"I'm focused, because this team is on a roll. Last night wasn't our best game -- Pricer [Carey Price] really bailed us out -- but I'm looking forward to getting back in there and helping this team get a win," underlined the 31-year-old netminder, who has gone 3-0-1 to start the year in Montreal. "For me it starts in practice, that's where I get my confidence. It's been a good week, so I'll take one more day to get ready, then start focusing on this game tomorrow."Video: Montoya on getting the start against Columbus
In his four starts this season, Montoya has registered an impressive 1.47 goals against average and 0.955 save percentage, but isn't dwelling on past successes.
"It's all the same. I put it all behind me and then prepare for the next one as if it's my last one.
A key battleground state in Tuesday's upcoming American presidential election, Ohio was also the site of an epic battle for baseball's ultimate prize on Wednesday night.
In World Series action, the Chicago Cubs defeated the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in extra innings of Game 7 to end a 108-year championship drought.
To put the historic win into perspective, the Habs won 24 Stanley Cups over that same span.
"It's fantastic, I mean there's not really much else you can say," continued Montoya -- a Chicago native -- who nevertheless did not confirm whether he would be sporting his Cubs gear in Indians territory, in nearby Columbus. "It's something you get to share with a whole group of people, and the city deserves it."
Forward lines and defensive pairings at practice: