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Game Day: Maple Leafs @ Canadiens

Radulov, Galchenyuk and Gallagher practice on a line together prior to facing Leafs

by Steven Nechay @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

MONTREAL -- As part of Tim Hortons Coaching Day, the Canadiens held a rare game day skate at the Bell Centre on Saturday in preparation for the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.

 

- Although Michel Therrien did not announce any personnel changes against Toronto, there were some new lines on display at practice, with Alexander Radulov notably on the wing opposite Brendan Gallagher and Alex Galchenyuk, and Max Pacioretty flanking David Desharnais opposite Andrew Shaw.

"I liked what we saw from the end of our last game -- not just on the power play, but also during 5-on-5 -- so we're going to keep it going," explained head coach Michel Therrien during his pregame presser.Video: Therrien's pregame press conference

For a team that keeps racking up the wins and goals -- leading the league in both categories early on this season -- the tweaks come as nothing more than business as usual.

"They're different players, but it doesn't change things for me," underlined Gallagher when asked about adjusting his game to Radulov versus Pacioretty. "I play the same way regardless of where or who I'm playing with. I'm trying to help my linemates out as much as I can, and hopefully as a unit we can have success."

Galchenyuk meanwhile wasn't shy to share his enthusiasm about hitting the ice with Radulov.

"We have a chance to go out there and work together tonight, and we're excited about it. He's a fast skater who makes high-end moves at high-end speeds, which makes him dangerous," dished the 22-year-old center. "He plays with a lot of passion and energy, but so does Gally. We all have that fire in us, so it should be exciting."

 

- But if new linemates weren't already enough to get the Habs fired up, then a classic Saturday night matchup against a storied rival will certainly do the trick.

"It'll always be cool. It takes me back to my childhood. I remember coming home -- it would be 4:00 p.m. out west -- and one of these teams would be playing," recalled Gallagher, who has racked up six goals and four assists in 17 career games against Toronto. "It's pretty special to be part of it, and I still get excited about it as a player."Video: Brendan Gallagher on facing Toronto

While rivalry games are nothing new for longtime Habs like Gallagher, the opposite is true for some of the team's new additions.

After facing the Bruins a week ago, Shea Weber looking forward to his second Original Six matchup in just seven days.

"It was a good game for us against Boston, and obviously the rivalries are different here than they were in the central division," acknowledged the Canadiens' points leader through eight games. "[The Leafs] have got some really talented young players, and they've got the ability to score goals in a hurry. They're exciting to watch, and we're going to have to make sure we're on our game to shut them down tonight."

 

- Carey Price will get the start in goal against Toronto. The 29-year-old netminder is a perfect 4-0-0 this season, and holds a 19-13-1 record opposite the Maple Leafs.

 

- Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., and will be broadcast on CBC, CITY, and TVA Sports.

 

Forward lines and defensive pairings at practice:

Radulov-Galchenyuk-Gallagher
Pacioretty-Desharnais-Shaw
Lehkonen-Plekanec-Byron
Danault-Mitchell-Flynn

Emelin-Weber
Markov-Petry
Beaulieu-Pateryn
Sergachev

Price-Montoya

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