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At the Rink: Senators at Canadiens

by Sean Farrell

MONTREAL -- It looks like the Montreal Canadiens will have left wing Max Pacioretty in the lineup against the Ottawa Senators at Bell Centre on Saturday.

Pacioretty took part in the morning skate at the Canadiens' suburban practice facility. He went to the hospital Thursday night for precautionary reasons after he fell headfirst into the boards on a check by Anaheim Ducks defenseman Clayton Stoner.

"I think maybe people hear the word hospital and they assume the worst, but whenever someone gets a little injury they have to obviously get tests, and at that time of the night the only thing open is the hospital," Pacioretty said. "So I don't want it to be blown out of proportion. I feel really good."

Pacioretty leads Montreal with 13 goals and 25 points. Montreal coach Michel Therrien said he will decide after the warmup if he will play against Ottawa.

"It's good news that he was back with us and good news again that he was capable to skate," Therrien said. "He felt pretty good but we're not sure 100 percent."

Center Lars Eller returns after missing five games because of an upper-body injury. Therrien moved David Desharnais from center to left wing.

"It doesn't change his (Desharnais) game at all," Therrien said. "Honestly, I know some people think there's controversy regarding that; there's none. We just moved him in the defensive zone about 15 feet. The rest of the game, you play the game. When you go to the offensive zone, you play the game. Whatever you're a centerman or a left wing, if you're in the slot, you have to shoot the puck to shoot the puck. We're not the only team that's capable to do that and it doesn't make a big deal.

"Look at Pittsburgh. At times (Evgeni) Malkin's playing right wing. It's such a big deal. If you play right wing, you play right wing. If you're playing center, you play center; same thing with us."

Goalie Carey Price will make his ninth start in a row for Montreal, which lost 2-1 against Anaheim Thursday after winning the first three games of its five-game homestand.

The Senators are on a 3-0-1 run.

Ottawa coach Dave Cameron will go with Robin Lehner for the Senators' third game in four nights.

Craig Anderson stopped 66 of 68 shots during Ottawa's two game-winning streak, including a 6-2 victory against Anaheim on Friday two days after getting his third shutout in a 2-0 win against the Los Angeles Kings.

"When we're both on our game, we kind of push each other and I think that's a great thing for our team," Lehner said.

Here are the projected lineups:


Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Mark Stone

Mike Hoffman - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan

Erik Condra - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Alex Chiasson

Milan Michalek - David Legwand - Colin Greening

Chris Phillips - Erik Karlsson

Jared Cowen - Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki - Eric Gryba

Robin Lehner

Craig Anderson

Scratched: Patrick Wiercioch

Injured: Zack Smith (wrist), Chris Neil (knee), Marc Methot (back/hip)


Max PaciorettyAlex GalchenyukBrendan Gallagher

Sven AndrighettoTomas PlekanecJiri Sekac

David Desharnais - Lars EllerPierre-Alexandre Parenteau

Brandon PrustManny MalhotraDale Weise

Andrei MarkovP.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin - Sergei Gonchar

Nathan BeaulieuTom Gilbert

Carey Price

Joey MacDonald

Scratched: Mike Weaver, Bryan Allen, Michael Bournival

Injured: None

Status report: Cameron said that Wiercioch will be a game-time decision. ... The Canadiens sent backup goalie Dustin Tokarski to Hamilton of the AHL on Friday for conditioning purposes. Tokarski had sat for eight straight games since Nov. 29, when he made 23 saves in a 4-3 shootout loss at the Buffalo Sabres.

Who's hot: Turris has seven points during a five-game points streak, including three goals in his past two games. Stone also has a five-game points streak. Zibanejad has six goals and 11 points in his past seven games. Ryan has two goals and eight points in his past seven games. ... Desharnais has two goals and two assists during a three-game points streak.

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