BROSSARD - Claude Julien shuffled his deck on Saturday morning at the Bell Sports Complex.
Notably, the Habs had a new look up front.
Jonathan Drouin skated opposite Brendan Gallagher on a line centered by Phillip Danault, while Tomas Tatar was on the left of Nick Suzuki on a line with Artturi Lehkonen. Max Domi for his part pivoted a line with Joel Armia and Paul Byron, while Nate Thompson, Nick Cousins and Ryan Poehling rounded things off on the fourth line.
During his pregame press conference, Julien admitted he's looking for a spark.
"It's three games now that we've been average. Changes were necessary," explained the Canadiens coach. "We're hoping that these moves give us some energy."
Video: Claude Julien's pregame press conference vs. LAK
Drouin's reversal with Tatar on the team's top line is a rare one since last season.
But according to Danault, despite different playing styles, the two wingers have a lot in common.
"They're different players, but they both have a lot of talent and good vision. Jo and Tatar can both use their speed," explained the 26-year-old, who counts five goals and 10 points in 16 games this season. "Despite their similarities, a line change can still give a team a boost."
Video: Phillip Danault on the new lines at practice
On defense, Mike Reilly will sit in place of Brett Kulak, who will form a pairing with Cale Fleury.
A tough team
The Habs play host to a Kings squad which has struggled since the start of the 2019-20 season. Los Angeles has gone 5-10-1 to open the new campaign, and arrive in Montreal coming off a pair of losses to Toronto and Ottawa.
Still, the Californian crew is not to be taken lightly.
"They're a big team, which we know gives us trouble," acknowledged Julien. "We'll need to play the right way, and have a better game than recently. We'll need to be concentrated on the task at hand."
Same story from the dressing room.
"They're an experienced group. They're tough physically. We'll need to play the same way. We want to bounce back from that loss in Philly," concluded Domi, who has been held off the scoresheet for the past three games. "We'll be ready as soon as the puck drops."
Video: Max Domi on meeting Bobby Clarke
Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Saturday's game is also Military Appreciation Night at the Bell Centre. To purchase tickets, click here.