CANADIENS (36-38-6) at HURRICANES (35-29-16)
TV: 7 p.m. ET; RDS, SNE, FS-CR, NHL.TV
RALEIGH, N.C. -- Montreal Canadiens goaltender Charlie Lindgren will make his NHL debut against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Thursday.
Lindgren, who signed a two-year, two-way contract March 30, was 30-9-1 with a 2.13 goals-against average and .925 save percentage this season at St. Cloud State University.
"It's a good spot for him, it's an opportunity for him to show what he's made of," Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty said. "At this point of the season there isn't much pressure, so he can go out there and play his game. I'm excited to see how it turns out."
Montreal is also utilizing an inexperienced defensive group Thursday. Darren Dietz (11 games), Joel Hanley (eight) and Ryan Johnston (one) have played a combined 20 games in the NHL.
"We're missing a lot of players so it's going to be a challenge for that young defensive group," coach Michel Therrien said. "We've got a rookie goalie who is playing his first game in the NHL, so it's going to be interesting."
Hurricanes coach Bill Peters will use the final two games of the season to evaluate players in different roles. He said he was impressed with the play of Elias Lindholm at center in the 2-1 shootout win against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.
"I thought Lindholm played very well in the middle. We will leave him there [Thursday]," Peters said. "Every time we've put a guy in a position, he's answered positively. We've answered some questions for us moving forward.
"We want to finish strong. These games all have meaning. You want to finish properly."
Here are the projected lineups:
Max Pacioretty - Alex Galchenyuk - Brendan Gallagher
Lars Eller - Tomas Plekanec - Daniel Carr
Phillip Danault - David Desharnais - Sven Andrighetto
Paul Byron - Torrey Mitchell - Mike Brown
Andrei Markov - Greg Pateryn
Alexei Emelin - Ryan Johnston
Joel Hanley - Darren Dietz
Injured: P.K. Subban (neck), Carey Price (knee), Nathan Beaulieu (broken thumb), Mark Barberio (concussion), Jeff Petry (sports hernia), Brian Flynn (lower body), Tom Gilbert (knee), Lucas Lessio (knee), Victor Bartley (lower body), Brett Lernout (lower body)
Scratched: Stefan Matteau
Joakim Nordstrom - Jordan Staal - Patrick Brown
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Riley Nash
Derek Ryan - Elias Lindholm - Chris Terry
Nathan Gerbe - Jay McClement - Brad Malone
Jaccob Slavin - Justin Faulk
Noah Hanifin - Brett Pesce
Ron Hainsey - Ryan Murphy
Injured: Phillip Di Giuseppe (upper body), Andrej Nestrasil (upper body), James Wisniewski (ACL)
Scratched: Michal Jordan
Status report: Brown returns to the Montreal lineup after being scratched the three previous games. ... Carolina recalled forward Derek Ryan from Charlotte of the American Hockey League and returned Sergey Tolchinsky to the Checkers.
Who's hot: Galchenyk has 14 goals in the past 20 games. ... Rask has five goals in the previous seven games.