VANCOUVER - The Canadiens skated at Rogers Arena on Tuesday morning in preparation for their tilt against the Canucks, a game which marks the start of their Western road swing.
- All players were present and accounted for at the morning skate, except for Tomas Plekanec and Alexander Radulov, both of whom are sidelined due to injury. Following the on-ice session, head coach Claude Julien confirmed that the pair will be out of the lineup against the Canucks.
Plekanec is sidelined with an upper-body injury. Julien indicated that his status remains day-to-day. The veteran centerman is missing his first game since March 29, 2014 after suiting up for a team-leading 236 consecutive contests.
"We'll continue to evaluate him, but he won't be playing tonight," confirmed Julien. "He's a guy who has always been a durable player, so if we're keeping him out of the lineup, it's because he just can't help us right now. It's good to know that he remains day-to-day, though."
Video: Claude Julien's press conference
Brian Flynn draws back into the lineup with Plekanec on the sidelines. He was a healthy scratch in the Canadiens' previous two games leading up to the tilt in the Lower Mainland.
Radulov, meanwhile, will miss his second consecutive game with a lower-body injury.
- On the back end, Brandon Davidson will make his Canadiens debut playing alongside Jeff Petry, while Alexei Emelin is a healthy scratch.
Petry is eager to see what the 25-year-old newcomer can bring come game time, but he certainly likes what he's witnessed from him so far at practice. He also received some solid reviews from a few of his former teammates with the Edmonton Oilers.
"From talking to guys that are over there, he's a guy that thinks the game really well," shared Petry, who had plenty of good things to say about the way Davidson goes about his business on the ice. "He moves well and he can move the puck well, so those are always really good assets for defensemen, if he can skate well out of the zone and make a strong first pass."
Video: Jeff Petry on playing with Brandon Davidson
The key to making this new defensive partnership click, according to Petry, is actually rather simple.
"With the new partner, just making sure that there's communication on the ice and off the ice when we're on the bench and how we see things and how plays develop," explained Petry. "It's just about having an open line of communication."
- Brendan Gallagher's ties to British Columbia run deep, something that will be reflected in the stands at Rogers Arena on Tuesday night as the Canadiens' No. 11 will have his entire immediate family in attendance to cheer him on, along with a few friends, of course. The Gallagher clan relocated to BC from Edmonton back in 2004, and now call Tsawwassen home, so it's just a short 45-minute drive down to the Canucks' home rink.
"You want to play well in front of your friends and family. There's no doubt about it," said Gallagher, whose father Ian, mother Della, brother Nolan, and sisters Erin and Breanne, will all be in attendance to support him and the rest of his teammates as they go for their sixth straight win. "For us, we only come out here once a year. It's a special game for them and it's a special game for us. It's special to play front of them because they've meant so much to our careers. It doesn't matter how many times you get to play in front of them, you want to make it count."
Video: Brendan Gallagher on Habs fans aplenty in Vancouver
Gallagher's parents and siblings will likely be among the thousands of Canadiens fans who come out to Rogers Arena sporting bleu-blanc-rouge to show their love for the CH. Their unwavering support, according to the five-year NHL veteran, gives the entire group a serious boost.
"I think the support that we have, we only come out here once a year, so they make sure that they take advantage of it. I think there are Habs fans all over the country, so for us to come out here and hopefully play well in front of them, that's what it's all about," said Gallagher. "We definitely appreciate their support. We know it might be the only game that they get to see all year, so we appreciate all of their support."
- Besting the Canucks - whether at home or away - usually means keeping the Sedins off the scoresheet. Daniel and Henrik have enjoyed their fair share of success against the Canadiens over the years, combining for 35 points in 25 career games. It goes without saying that Julien is well-aware of what the Sedins can do when given time and space to operate in the offensive zone.
"We're going to try to stop them, but those two guys know each other well. They find each other so easily on the ice," said Julien. "We know that when they have the puck, there's a strong chance that one is going to pass to the other. We have to be careful, and we have to be aware where they are on the ice at all times."
Video: Shea Weber on the Habs improving their play
- Carey Price will be looking for his 30th win of the season on Tuesday night. The Anahim Lake, BC native boasts a 7-2-2 record, 2.25 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage in 12 career appearances against the Canucks.
- Puck drop is scheduled for 10 p.m. EST. The game will be broadcast on Sportsnet East and RDS, as well as on TSN Radio 690 and 98,5 fm.
Probable lineup against Vancouver: