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Canadiens' Lindgren to make NHL debut

Rookie fifth Montreal goalie this season; will start against Hurricanes

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Correspondent

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:

CANADIENS

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

Charlie Lindgren

Mike Condon

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

HURRICANES

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

Cam Ward

Eddie Lack

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.

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