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Drouin day to day for Canadiens with 'muscular thing'

Coach Julien not concerned upper-body injury could be long-term issue

by Dave McCarthy / Correspondent

TORONTO -- Center Jonathan Drouin is day to day with an upper-body injury and did not play for the Montreal Canadiens in a 5-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Ricoh Coliseum on Monday.

"It's a muscular thing and it was more out of precaution for tonight than anything else," coach Claude Julien said. "He was scheduled to play, he was fine this morning, and then just after practice we chose to take the safe route and do that. So, it's day to day, muscular, upper body."

Drouin, 22, was expected to play on the top line with left wing Max Pacioretty and right wing Brendan Gallagher. Forward Torrey Mitchell replaced Drouin in the lineup.

Asked whether he had any concerns about Drouin's status for the long term, Julien said, "No."

Drouin, the No. 3 pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, was acquired in a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning on June 15 and signed a six-year contract reportedly worth $33 million ($5.5 million average annual value) later that day.

The Canadiens scratched goaltender Charlie Lindgren before warmups because of a lower-body injury. Al Montoya started instead and allowed five goals on 21 shots.

"Just before the game as he was warming up, he just had a lower-body injury that required him not to play," Julien said. "He'll be evaluated by the doctors here moving forward."

Jake Hildebrand, who played last season for the Indy Fuel of the ECHL, was the emergency backup goaltender.

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