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Gallagher could return to lineup for Canadiens against Sabres

Forward has missed past six games with headaches; Drouin making progress from wrist injury

by @NHLdotcom

Brendan Gallagher could return to the lineup for the Montreal Canadiens when they play at the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG-B, TSN2, RDS, NHL.TV).

Gallagher missed four games after sustaining a concussion in a 3-1 loss at the Carolina Hurricanes on Dec. 31. He wore a tinted visor when he returned in a 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Jan. 9 and hasn't played in six games since.

"It's at the point where it's just really been day by day," Gallagher told the Canadiens website Tuesday. "I'm sure Thursday morning I'll be able to take the pregame skate and a decision will be made then. Until then, it's really day by day and just go from there."

The forward, who has 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists) in 41 games this season, practiced on the top line with Tomas Tatar and Phillip Danault.

"I've been headache-free since some point during the bye week (Jan. 19-26), so it's been a little while now. The headaches were there for a few days, and then after a couple of days it would come and go, come and go. But they've been gone for good since early in the bye week."

Video: MTL@CGY: Gallagher nets goal from impossible angle

Canadiens forward Jonathan Drouin also practiced with the team Tuesday, on the third line with Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Nick Cousins. Drouin has not played since Nov. 15 after having wrist surgery three days later and was expected to miss eight weeks. Team doctors will determine Wednesday if he will travel with the team to Buffalo.

"There are some movements that are still sensitive," Drouin said. "It's all part of my rehab. I feel comfortable battling with other guys. It's good progress."

Montreal was 11-5-3 at the time of Drouin's injury, second in the Atlantic Division; it has gone 11-17-4 since and is 10 points behind the Carolina Hurricanes for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"It's frustrating. I couldn't help my team for eight weeks," Drouin said. "We need points and we're fighting with other teams for a playoff spot. Every game I watched was harder and harder for me. It's tough, but it's part of hockey. It was disappointing that I couldn't help my team."

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