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At the Rink: Canadiens at Red Wings

by Paul Harris

DETROIT -- Montreal Canadiens goaltender Dustin Tokarski will make his first start of the season Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m. ET; RDS, CITYM, FS-D).

Tokarski was recalled from St. John's of the American Hockey League on Sunday.

Mike Condon had started the previous six games since Carey Price aggravated a lower-body injury Nov. 25.

Condon made 20 saves in a 3-1 loss to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday, the Canadiens' third straight loss (0-3-0).

The Canadiens (19-7-3) had an optional skate Thursday, and announced that forward Charles Hudon will make his NHL debut. He'll replace Christian Thomas in the lineup.

Also, defenseman Greg Pateryn will play in place of Nathan Beaulieu.

Red Wings (15-8-5) coach Jeff Blashill said he sees a lot of similarities between his team and the Canadiens.

"I think when we're playing at our best we're a pretty quick, fast team and we transition pretty fast," Blashill said. "I think when they're playing their best they're a quick, fast team. Their [defensemen] are very involved, their [defensemen] are a little more active from a shooting sense. Our [defensemen] have been a little more active from a motion sense. Both [defense] corps can provide offense.

"I also think structurally they're really good. They make it hard to get to the net, they don't give up lots. They've had obviously real good goaltending. But I think part of that is the structure with which they play."

Here are the projected lineups:


Max Pacioretty - Alex Galchenyuk - Sven Andrighetto

Lars Eller - Tomas Plekanec - Paul Byron

Tomas Fleischmann - David Desharnais - Dale Weise

Brian Flynn - Charles Hudon - Daniel Carr

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin - Jeff Petry

Greg Pateryn - Tom Gilbert

Dustin Tokarski

Mike Condon

Injured: Devante Smith-Pelly (lower body) Torrey Mitchell (lower body), Brendan Gallagher (hand), Carey Price (lower body)

Scratched: Christian Thomas, Jarred Tinordi, Nathan Beaulieu


Dylan Larkin - Henrik Zetterberg - Justin Abdelkader

Darren Helm - Pavel Datsyuk - Brad Richards

Gustav Nyquist - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Tatar

Tomas Jurco - Luke Glendening - Joakim Andersson

Niklas Kronwall - Mike Green

Danny DeKeyser - Jonathan Ericsson

Brendan Smith - Alexey Marchenko

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Injured: Drew Miller (broken jaw), Teemu Pulkkinen (dislocated shoulder), Johan Franzen (concussion), Kyle Quincey (ankle)

Scratched: Jakub Kindl

Status update: Hudon was recalled from St. John's on Tuesday. … Detroit is 6-0-3 since Richards returned from a back injury.

Who's hot: Galchenyuk has five goals and four assists in his past nine games. … Larkin has one goal and three assists in his past three games.

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