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MTL@PIT: Game-time decision for Galchenyuk

Habs forward took part in the team's optional skate in Pittsburgh

by Steven Nechay @CanadiensMTL /

PITTSBURGH -- A handful of Habs hopped onto the ice at PPG Arena on Wednesday morning, for an optional game day skate ahead of facing the Penguins.

Alex Galchenyuk was among the players in uniform, back at practice after leaving Tuesday's skate early with a hand injury.

Claude Julien indicated that the 24-year-old would be re-evaluated during the day, and could possibly be in the lineup opposite the Pens.

"He skated this morning, and we'll keep an eye on his situation," explained the Canadiens head coach. "We'll know later on if he's good to go, but if there's a change to the lineup it will be because he's not ready to play."

Video: Pregame @ PIT: Claude Julien

Carey Price meanwhile will get the start in goal, returning to game action for the first time since Feb. 20, in time to face the sixth-ranked offense in the NHL.

Pittsburgh is notably home to three of the league's Top 15 point-getters, with Sidney Crosby (77 pts), Phil Kessel (80 pts), and Evgeni Malkin (89 pts).

"I think Carey is capable of facing this type of opposition," continued Julien, who likewise saw the rest of his team put forth an inspired effort against the Pens last Thursday in Montreal, despite falling 5-3. "Everyone needs to play the way they did when Pittsburgh visited us at home a week ago. I thought we played pretty well. We need to come in here with good intentions, and play the same way."

The last time these two teams met, Montreal entered the final 20 tied 3-3, but allowed the game-winner with seven minutes left in regulation.

"We'll need to spend less time in the penalty box this time," underlined Jonathan Drouin, on the keys to Wednesday's rematch. "They're a team that's very good on the power play. When we watch the video, we're always seeing new things, and new formations. They're unpredictable."

With so much star power at the other end of the ice, Drouin would also like to see giveaways held to a minimum.

"We'll need to limit turnovers on our end, because they can be costly," concluded the 22-year-old. "But they're a team I like to face, because they play an open game. If we're able to create some takeaways, we'll have some good chances in their offensive zone."

Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in Pittsburgh, and will be broadcast on Sportsnet, RDS, TSN690 and 98,5 fm in Canada.

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