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Mitchell and Davidson to suit up for Game 3

Claude Julien confirms lineup changes in New York

by Steven Nechay @CanadiensMTL /

NEW YORK -- The Canadiens featured a couple of new faces in the lineup during Sunday's morning skate at Madison Square Garden.

Torrey Mitchell was notably at right wing opposite Steve Ott and Dwight King on the fourth line, while Brandon Davidson was paired with Nathan Beaulieu on the back end.

Alex Galchenyuk meanwhile picked up where he left off in Game 2, centering a line with Andrew Shaw and Artturi Lehkonen.


For Mitchell and Davidson, Sunday will mark the pair's 2017 and career playoff debuts, respectively.

"I'm excited. It's tough watching. You want to be out there helping your team out," underlined Mitchell, who fills in for Andreas Martinsen on Sunday. "I have the opportunity tonight, and hopefully I play well."

One area in which the 32-year-old could help his team out is the face-off department. The Montreal-native led the Habs with a 54.5% efficiency in the circle during the regular season.

"I can take face-offs, so if that's what the team needs from me I'll be ready," added the 5-foot-11, 190-pounder, who sat out Games 1 and 2. "It's the playoffs and every face-off is important."

Video: Torrey Mitchell on returning to the lineup

But Mitchell could also fly under the radar to bolster the team's offense, having picked up five points in 12 playoff outings in 2015.

"I think everyone wants to elevate their game at this time of year, and I'm no different," acknowledged the gritty forward. "You get jitters, you get nerves, and excitement -- it's an opportunity to step up your game, and I hope to do that tonight."

While Mitchell will be suiting up for his 73rd career NHL playoff game, Davidson for his part will be at the other end of the postseason spectrum, making his first career playoff strides.

"I'm ready, I'm excited. I want to bring some energy and some fresh legs. I want to make sure I'm doing my part. I'm really excited to get involved," stressed the 25-year-old defenseman, who played 10 regular season games with the Habs after being acquired on February 28. "The focus will be to keep things simple. Not getting out of my comfort zone by any means. Playing a good, simple game."


Following a solid end of Game 2, Galchenyuk will be back at center in Game 3 -- at least to start things off.

"[Shaw, Galchenyuk, and Lehkonen] are interchangeable. They give us a lot of versatility. As we saw on Friday, Galchenyuk performed well enough on the wing that he ended the night at center. We're not afraid of mixing things up in-game as needed," explained Julien. "Alex had the right attitude all along. He worked hard and he put himself in a position to help his team succeed."

That attitude has also rubbed off on his new linemates, who are eager to do some damage in Game 3.

"He's working hard and competing, and that's what we need him to do. He plays great when he does that, and he's a player who can make plays, score goals, and play strong minutes." concluded Shaw. "He's a versatile player -- he can play every forward position -- and he's very skilled and smart. He can adapt and change his game pretty quickly."

-Puck drop for Game 3 is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet and TVA Sports in Canada, as well as on TSN Radio 690 and 98,5 fm.

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