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Game Day: Predators @ Canadiens

Dwight King to make his Canadiens debut against Nashville

by Montreal Canadiens @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

BROSSARD -- The Canadiens will have one new face in the lineup when a familiar face returns to town on Thursday night.

A full Habs squad practiced in Brossard on Thursday morning, just hours before facing P.K. Subban and the visiting Nashville Predators at the Bell Centre.

  

WELCOME TO THE CLUB

- While all of Wednesday's acquisitions were on the Bell Sports Complex ice for the first time during the morning skate, only Dwight King will make his Canadiens debut opposite the Preds.

"I'm trying to get my legs under me [tonight]," confirmed King, who practiced on a line with Michael McCarron and Torrey Mitchell. "It's a new team, a new system, so I want to play the way I can play -- a puck possession, forechecking style of hockey -- and help out my linemates any way I can to get the win."

Video: King on getting set for his first game with the Habs

Weighing in at 6-foot-4 and 232 pounds, King will notably complete a Habs fourth line to be reckoned with.

"He's going to bring a different dimension to this team -- I don't know if anybody's going to want to play against us anymore," described the Saskatchewan native's 6-foot-6 linemate McCarron. We've got some big bodies now, and we're going to crash and bang and put some damage on these guys. I think that's huge in the playoffs. Just from watching [NHL playoff hockey], I've seen that everybody finishes their checks every period, and it puts some wear and tear on you. I'm excited to play with him tonight, and everyone in the locker room is excited about these new faces."

Remaining new faces Steve Ott, Brandon Davidson, and Andreas Martinsen will be the Habs' healthy scratches on Thursday, along with Brian Flynn and Nikita Nesterov.

  

Forward lines and defensive pairings at practice:

Pacioretty - Danault - Radulov
Lehkonen - Galchenyuk - Gallagher
Byron - Plekanec - Shaw
King - McCarron - Mitchell
Martinsen - Ott - Flynn

Markov - Weber
Emelin - Petry
Beaulieu - Benn
Davidson - Nesterov

  

WELCOME BACK

When the Habs face the Preds on Thursday, Nashville defenseman P.K. Subban will take on his former club for the first time since being traded for Shea Weber over the summer.

"There's going to be some excitement there, I'm sure," acknowledged Brendan Gallagher, who played four seasons with Subban in Montreal. "He did a lot of things in this city, played here for a lot of years, and made a lot of connections. Obviously the fans appreciated what he did, but I think Montreal fans will do what they always do -- show their respects early on, but then focus on the two points as the game goes on."

Added the Habs assistant captain, who now shares leadership duties in Montreal with Weber:

"I think there will definitely be a lot of buzz in the building, and for good reason. Both P.K. and Webs spent a lot of time in their respective cities, and I'm sure it's going to be a special game for both of them."

Video: Gallagher on the new additions to the lineup

As Claude Julien gets set to coach just his sixth game with the Canadiens, the former Bruins bench boss nevertheless has some advance scouting already done on Subban.

"P.K. is a good hockey player, everyone knows that," underlined the 56-year-old. "I had a chance to meet him at the Olympics, and he's a good person. I never really had the chance to coach him, but he always gave his best against Boston. He did good things for this city, and I have nothing but positive things to say about P.K."

  

- Game time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast on Sportsnet and RDS in Canada.

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