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Nathan Beaulieu out of hospital, won't play Thursday

Canadiens defenseman hit by puck in throat area during game Tuesday

by Arpon Basu / LNH.com Managing Editor

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens defenseman Nathan Beaulieu was released from a hospital Wednesday after being hit with a puck in the throat area during the second period of a 4-3 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.

Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said Beaulieu will miss Montreal's home game Thursday against the Carolina Hurricanes (7:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN360, RDS, FS-CR) and is also likely to miss the game at the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. He could not give a more detailed timeline for Beaulieu's return.

"He's still got some tests," Therrien said. "We'll find out a bit more in the next few days."

The Canadiens called up defenseman Mark Barberio from St. John's of the American Hockey League on Wednesday and sent down defenseman Joel Hanley. Barberio will make his season debut Thursday playing on the third pair with Greg Pateryn, who was a healthy scratch the past two games.

"[Barberio] is playing some really good hockey lately," Therrien said. "He's been the best defenseman in St. John's. He earned the chance to play. Obviously Nathan's not going to play [Thursday], and we need a defenseman with some experience. The fact that he was playing well is a good opportunity for him, and it's a good opportunity for Greg Pateryn to get back in the lineup."

Barberio had two goals and 10 points in 30 games with the Canadiens last season. He had 14 points in 18 games with St. John's this season after being cut at the end of training camp.

The Canadiens could also be getting defenseman Zach Redmond back from a broken foot that has kept him out all season. Redmond is cleared to practice with the team, but Therrien is concerned with the amount of time since Redmond last played a game, which was Sept. 29 in a preseason game against the Ottawa Senators.

Therrien said goaltender Carey Price will start against the Hurricanes. Carolina has won five straight games, including a 3-2 home victory against the Canadiens last Friday.

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