BROSSARD - After a day off from practice on Monday, the Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Tuesday morning in preparation for their game against the Florida Panthers at the Bell Centre.
- Should the Canadiens win tonight, they would become just the second team in NHL history to win their first 11 home games in a single season, tying the mark set by the Chicago Blackhawks back in 1963-64 (11-0-0).
- A Canadiens victory would also give starter Carey Price his 11th straight win between the pipes, which would tie the franchise mark for consecutive wins by a goaltender set by George Hainsworth from February 24 - March 24, 1927. Price boasts a 10-0-0 record, a 1.40 goals-against average and a .957 save percentage this year. Roberto Luongo, meanwhile, will be between the pipes for Florida.
- Alexander Radulov did not take part in Tuesday's morning skate. The Canadiens announced that the Russian forward remained at home due to illness. Following the on-ice session, head coach Michel Therrien confirmed that Radulov would not be uniform against the Panthers.
- Chris Terry will draw into the lineup in Radulov's absence. The 27-year-old left-winger, who was recalled from the AHL's St. John's IceCaps late Monday afternoon, will be making his Canadiens debut after signing a one-year, two-way contract back in July.
"I'm a little nervous. This is a very special franchise to play for, so anytime you're back in the NHL, it's special. I'm definitely excited for tonight," shared Terry, the IceCaps' leading point-getter so far this season with 15 points (5g, 10a) in 14 games. "The last two years I was with Carolina. I've played here [in Montreal] before, so I wouldn't say it's just another game. I definitely think the experience I had in the past will help me. Not too many butterflies out there, hopefully."
Video: Chris Terry on making his Canadiens debut
Even though there are several other players on the IceCaps' roster who've been in the organization a lot longer than Terry has and have been performing well, too, Therrien made it abundantly clear that the Brampton, ON native was selected to come to Montreal for a very specific reason.
"He's here because he's been the best player in St. John's," stressed Therrien. "He also has NHL experience - but even if he has experience and he's not their best player, it won't be him that gets called up. It has to be earned."
- Defenseman Greg Pateryn will also be in uniform on Tuesday night after sitting out the last three games as a healthy scratch. He will take the place of Joel Hanley on the back end.
When asked why Pateryn had spent some time out of the lineup, Therrien said it was solely because of his transition game. Now, it's up to the Michigan native to prove he's made the most of his time watching his teammates from afar and working hard in practice.
"We hope [he's learned from it]. It's important to have a good transition game and distribute the puck well. It's crucial with the way the game is played," said Therrien, before drawing an interesting analogy to further explain his point. "It's like a relay race. You can have four of the quickest athletes in the world, but if the baton isn't passed along properly and you throw it at the feet of your teammates, you won't win the race."
Video: Michel Therrien on Chris Terry and Greg Pateryn
- The Florida Panthers find themselves ranked sixth in the Atlantic Division with 15 points, 12 points back of the league-leading Canadiens in that department. Even though Gerard Gallant's club has struggled somewhat so far this year, the Habs are well aware that the Panthers have given them their fair share of trouble recently. In fact, Florida has won its last four games against the Canadiens dating back to December 29, 2015.
"They're a good team. There were a lot of people who put them high up in our division at the start of the year," said Therrien. "They still have quality players. They made a few changes on their roster, but that's a tough team to face. Our execution has to be perfect to give us a chance to win."
And, containing the likes of leading scorer Jonathan Marchessault, Vincent Trocheck, Aleksander Barkov, and Jaromir Jagr, of course, won't be an easy task.
"They've got a lot of talent, especially up front. Some guys can hurt you," admitted Brendan Gallagher. "They can put the puck in the net, so we've got to be skating and playing in the offensive zone and try and make it a tough night for them."
- 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 Radio 690 and 98,5 fm.