BROSSARD - The Canadiens skated at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard on Saturday morning in preparation for their game against the Detroit Red Wings at the Bell Centre.
- All players were present and accounted for at the morning skate, except for Artturi Lehkonen and Zach Redmond, both of whom are still sidelined due to injury.
- The Canadiens confirmed that they will not be featuring any lineup changes on Saturday night. That means that both David Desharnais and Greg Pateryn will be healthy scratches for a second straight game, and that Sven Andrighetto and Joel Hanley will be in uniform.
- For his part, Carey Price will get the start in goal for the Canadiens. The All-World netminder enters Saturday night's contest with a remarkable 9-0-0 record, along with a 1.56 goals-against average and a .953 save percentage. The Red Wings - winners of two straight games - will counter with Jimmy Howard between the pipes.
- Michel Therrien's troops will be going in search of their fourth straight victory - and if they manage to best Detroit on Saturday night, will establish a new team mark for the most consecutive home wins to start a season - 10 - besting their previous record of nine that was set during the 1953-54 campaign and matched in the 4-1 over Los Angeles on Thursday night.
A win would also mark the first time that the Canadiens came out on top in 13 of their first 15 games to begin a season in their 99-year NHL history.
Within the locker room, though, the focus remains solely on finding a way to down their Atlantic Division rivals in their first meeting of the year.
"We don't really talk about that. I didn't even know about that," admitted Paul Byron, on the subject of the aforementioned franchise records at stake against Detroit. "I know that there were some really good teams that played here, but every day represents a new challenge for us and we have to continue playing well. It will be another challenge tonight."
Video: Paul Byron on the success of the Canadiens' top line
Alex Galchenyuk shared similar thoughts following Saturday's skate on the South Shore.
"When you start like that, you kind of get a feeling that you're doing something special. Here in the group, we're really focused and hungry," mentioned Galchenyuk. "Obviously, playing at home, it's always special, so we have to make sure that we find a way to win."
- Alexander Radulov has a similar mindset heading into the Canadiens' 15th outing of the year. Coming off that big victory over the Kings, there's nothing the Russian forward would like more than to keep that winning feeling alive and well.
"We have to play with a lot of skill, with a lot of speed. That's what we're trying to do. We have some fast guys who can skate, and make it hard for our opponent. It worked well in the last game, but that's the last game. We have to regroup and go again," stressed Radulov, emphasizing the need to avoid complacency at all costs against the likes of Red Wings stud forwards Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist, among others. "Today's another day with a different opponent. We have to bring our best game."
Video: Alexander Radulov on Paul Byron
- Therrien's charges say their head coach and his fellow staffers deserve plenty of credit for the work they've managed to accomplish as a group so far this season. The veteran bench boss' lineup moves, in particular, have paid serious dividends through the first four weeks of the season, as evidenced by the position the Canadiens find themselves in heading into Saturday night's tilt.
"It's him and the coaches. Everyone at home, everyone who writes about it, everyone thinks they have the answers, but the coaches see us every day. Sometimes, they have hunches. They're intelligent. Sometimes, people don't understand the things they do, but they work," praised Byron, who will be making his third straight appearance on the Canadiens' top line alongside Radulov and Galchenyuk - a combination that has been nothing short of brilliant together.
The Canadiens' No. 27 expanded upon that topic, too, noting that players are responsible for trying to make coaching decisions work once they've been made.
"At the end of the day, coaches have to do their jobs and we, as players, have to do our jobs. They spend time thinking about who they're going to put out there and we spend time thinking about how we're going to play together. At the end of the day, we have to make sure that we have great chemistry and find a way to help the team win," said Galchenyuk, the Habs' current leader with six goals and 14 points in 14 games.
Video: Alex Galchenyuk on playing with Byron and Radulov
- Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet and TVA Sports, as well as on TSN Radio 690 and 98,5 fm.
Probable lineup against Detroit:
Byron - Galchenyuk - Radulov
Andrighetto - Plekanec - Gallagher
Pacioretty - Danault - Shaw
Carr - Mitchell - Flynn
Emelin - Weber
Markov - Petry
Beaulieu - Hanley