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Canadiens cook up new power-play units for Game 1

by Sean Farrell /

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said no one is buying what his team's power play has been trying to sell lately.

So on Friday he put his chef's hat and cooked up some new power-play groups heading into Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning (7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports, NBCSN).

"We want to change the ingredients in the recipe a little bit because right now the ingredients we're putting in, it's not selling," Therrien said. "It needs a bit of spice; it's as simple as that. It can't be worse."

With one goal in 20 power plays during a six-game first-round win against the Ottawa Senators, he's right.

Therrien will try Lars Eller at left wing in place of Alex Galchenyuk on the second unit, with center David Desharnais and right wing PA Parenteau.

"I think I can bring a little bit of everything. I can play different positions," Eller said. "[Friday] my role is going to be mostly in front of the net but it's going to be about trying to get in front of Bishop. But you know you've got to be ready for everything. You've got to be ready to win puck battles along the boards, you've got to be able to make plays and you've got to be ready for everything. But I think I can contribute in many areas."

The revised power-play recipe also calls for a pair of right-handed shots on the point: P.K. Subban and Jeff Petry on one unit, and left-handed shots Andrei Markov and Alexei Emelin on the other.

"We're just trying to find answers," said right wing Brendan Gallagher, who remains with center Tomas Plekanec and left wing Max Pacioretty on the top unit. "The past doesn't matter. Obviously you learn from it and you go on from there, but it doesn't matter. As long as we can have an impact on this series where we got to the point we're at. The power play didn't score as much as we would have liked in the Ottawa series but we got by that series so it doesn't matter; move on. You compete for this series and hopefully the power play can have an impact."

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex Killorn - Steven Stamkos - Ryan Callahan

Ondrej Palat - Tyler Johnson - Nikita Kucherov

Cedric Paquette - Valtteri Filppula - Brian Boyle

Brenden Morrow - Vladislav Namestnikov

Victor Hedman - Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison - Braydon Coburn

Matt Carle - Andrej Sustr

Nikita Nesterov

Ben Bishop

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Scratched: Mark Barberio, J.T. Brown, Jonathan Drouin

Injured: None


Max Pacioretty - Tomas Plekanec - Brendan Gallagher

Alex Galchenyuk - David Desharnais - Dale Weise

Brandon Prust - Lars Eller - PA Parenteau

Jacob De La Rose - Torrey Mitchell - Devante Smith-Pelly

Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban

Alexei Emelin - Jeff Petry

Tom Gilbert - Greg Pateryn

Carey Price

Dustin Tokarski

Scratched: Brian Flynn, Manny Malhotra, Mike Weaver, Sergei Gonchar, Mike Condon

Injured: Nathan Beaulieu (upper body)

Status report: Beaulieu is sidelined for the first four games of the series, after which his condition will be re-evaluated. He was on the ice before the morning skate wearing a tinted visor.

Who's hot: Price made 43 saves for his fifth playoff shutout Sunday to eliminate the Senators in Game 6. He went 4-2 with a 1.94 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage in the first round. … Pateryn has an assist in each of his past two games.

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