BROSSARD - The Red Wings come to town having just snapped a 12-game losing skid, but the Canadiens know they're going to have to battle for their two points on Saturday just like they would on any other night.
Detroit may be sitting at the very bottom of the League standings with 19 points (8-22-3), but forward Nick Suzuki pointed out that they still have plenty of firepower and stressed the importance of remaining vigilant against their Original Six opponents.
"They're all NHL players, they're all very talented. They have some great players over there, like [Dylan] Larkin, [Andreas] Athanasiou. Those guys are really dangerous up front," shared Suzuki, who has 15 points (6G, 9A) in 32 games. "They have some really talented D-men, so it's never an easy game here."
Video: Nick Suzuki on being ready for the Red Wings
The Wings snapped their slide - they had only picked up two points in their past 12 games with an overtime loss and a shootout loss, before going on to lose 10 straight in regulation - with a convincing 5-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets at home.
Head coach Claude Julien noted that because of the way they played against the Jets, and also because of their showing in their first meeting of the season with the Canadiens, a 4-2 win in Montreal's home opener, his troops will have to keep their wits about them and not let up if they want to hang on to third spot in the Atlantic Division.
"They played extremely well against Winnipeg. They're a good skating team; they move the puck well. They came in here at the beginning of the season and played a really solid game. I thought they played really, really well and although we may not have been at our best, they were really good. There are all the reasons in the world to take these guys seriously. If you believe in [League] parity, which we do, there's no reason to take these guys lightly."
Video: Claude Julien's pregame press conference vs. DET
On Friday afternoon, the Habs recalled forward Ryan Poehling from the AHL's Laval Rocket, and on Saturday, they called up goaltender Charlie Lindgren from Laval and sent Cayden Primeau back down to the Rocket.
Video: Poehling on splitting time between Montreal and Laval
The Canadiens held an optional morning skate ahead on Saturday, with 12 skaters and both goaltenders hitting the ice at the Bell Sports Complex in Brossard. Julien said he'd be icing the same lineup as he did in Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Ottawa Senators, so expect to see Poehling and Riley Barber dress up front. Carey Price was in the starter's net at the morning skate and did not speak to the media after practice, as is customary for the starting goalie, so he should be in the crease to face the Wings.
Julien told the media that after Paul Byron took part in his first full practice with the team on Friday, the team determined that he was not ready for action and would not be making the trip to Western Canada with the Habs on Sunday. Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Victor Mete, on the other hand, are getting closer to a return and will be traveling out west. Julien said it's likely they will dress at some point on the trip.
The Habs head coach also explained that with Price likely to take the bulk of the workload on the upcoming four-game trip, the team wanted Primeau to see game action in Laval.
Puck drop against the Red Wings is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. at the Bell Centre. For tickets to the game, click here.