BROSSARD - After a well-deserved day off on Sunday, the Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Monday morning in preparation for their tilt against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Bell Centre.
- All players were present and accounted for at the morning skate, including Torrey Mitchell, who took a high stick to the face on Saturday night in Boston on the play that saw him score the Canadiens' fourth goal of the game at the 12:47 mark of the third period.
- Following the practice session, Therrien confirmed that the Canadiens would not be featuring any lineup changes on Monday night. That means that Daniel Carr and Mikhail Sergachev will both be healthy scratches against the Flyers.
Video: Michel Therrien's pregame press conference
- Carey Price will make his third consecutive start for the Canadiens. He boasts an 11-9-0 record in 21 career outings against the Flyers. Philadelphia, meanwhile, will counter with Steve Mason, who is undefeated in four starts against Montreal.
- All eyes were on the Canadiens' power play units at the morning skate on Monday. That's because they made a rather noticeable change to the top unit by adding a fourth forward to the mix in Alexander Radulov, who was quarterbacking things alongside Shea Weber. Captain Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher were the other three forwards out there up front.
"We're still getting some goals with the power play, but that's not quite what they [the coaching staff] expect. We still need to be better. It's all about working, too," shared Radulov, on the subject of the switch to try to get the Canadiens' 20th-ranked power play going heading into Monday night's contest against Philadelphia. "We have to work even harder because those four guys [on the opposing team] are going to box out and go hard, and we have to do the same thing. We have to be there, give 200 percent and make it hard for them."
While the Canadiens' power play has managed to click just 14.3 percent of the time on the year - lighting the lamp on three of 21 opportunities - Gallagher doesn't believe there's cause for concern at this point in time. He insists that inserting Radulov in the mix has the potential to be a huge help.
Video: Gallagher on Radulov's skill level
"It's only five games in. We're not panicking at all. The power play has got to be better if we want to keep having success. It's something we're going to keep working on and talking about. It's just a different look. We'll see if it works. Hopefully, it does," mentioned Gallagher, before expanding upon the Russian sniper's capabilities to help out in this department going forward. "I think when you get a guy like that, with his skill level, he' going to make good things happen out there. He's a hard-working guy. He competes. He battles."
Like Gallagher, Therrien is interested to see if the move will pay immediate dividends against a Flyers squad that currently ranks 21st on the penalty kill.
"We're going to try that combination. We want to try different things on the power play. This is something that we discussed a lot with Kirk [Muller]," said Therrien. "We've been sharing different things and we have that in our back pocket."
The Canadiens' second power play unit was comprised of Tomas Plekanec and David Desharnais rotating at center, with Artturi Lehkonen and Andrew Shaw on the wings. Andrei Markov and Jeff Petry were featured on the back end.
- Petry stressed the importance of the Canadiens being as defensively sound as possible against a Flyers lineup that includes the likes of Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds, among others. Interestingly enough, Dave Hakstol's squad ranks third in the NHL in average goals per game (3.80), while the Canadiens sit atop that list, averaging four goals per outing thus far this year.
Video: Petry on facing the Flyers
"They have firepower up front and they have guys who can make plays, so our main focus is to take away time and space," explained Petry, knowing full-well what the Flyers' top guns are capable of. "You give those guys space and that's when they can make plays. We have to do that on those top two lines, for sure."
That being said, the 28-year-old defenseman believes that if the Canadiens stick to the style of play that has them playing winning hockey through the first five games of the season, they should be in good shape heading into Monday night's game.
"I just like our dedication. I think we're playing complete games and I think we're playing a tougher type of hockey," shared Petry. "I think we're just playing more physical in the D zone. We're not giving up much. We're making it tougher for guys to come out in front. Our forwards are doing a good job of getting the puck down low and grinding down on their D. I think that pays off. It might not pay off in the first period, but it definitely wears down the D and pays off in the third."
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet East and RDS, as well as on TSN 690 and 98.5 fm.
Probable lineup against Philadelphia:
Pacioretty - Galchenyuk - Gallagher
Lehkonen - Plekanec - Radulov
Byron - Desharnais - Shaw
Danault - Mitchell - Flynn
Beaulieu - Weber
Markov - Petry
Emelin - Pateryn