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Canadiens' Scrivens looks to savor second chance

by David Satriano

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- On Monday, Ben Scrivens was in in the American Hockey League with the Edmonton Oilers' affiliate in Bakersfield, Calif., hoping for another chance in the NHL.

On Thursday, he was on the ice at Gillette Stadium, one day before the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic (1 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS) against the Boston Bruins, preparing to perhaps play in his second outdoor hockey game of the season.

Scrivens, who was acquired by the Montreal Canadiens from the Edmonton Oilers for forward Zack Kassian on Monday, had been in the AHL all season and played outdoors with Bakersfield at Raley Field in Sacramento, Calif., on Dec. 19 in front of a crowd of 9,357 people. He made 35 saves in a 3-2 loss to Stockton.

"It's been a bit of a mill-run, starting in Edmonton, flying down to Bakersfield, hanging around there for a couple of days,??? said Scrivens, who was 2-6-1 with a 3.47 goals-against average and a save percentage of .893 in 10 games in Bakersfield. ???Found out I was traded to Montreal and took a red-eye, met the team in Tampa [Monday], we had back-to-back games, so I've kind of done all four corners of the continent already but it's been a welcome change. Definitely just excited to be here."

With No. 1 goalie Carey Price out for with a lower-body injury, the Canadiens traded for Scrivens to add goaltending depth. He made 27 saves in a 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. Mike Condon has made the bulk of the starts in Price???s absence, and will start Friday with Scrivens servinjg as the backup goalie. Dustin Tokarski, who has played in four games with the Canadiens, was sent to St. John's of the AHL when Scrivens was acquired.

Scrivens, 29, has played in 130 games in five seasons with the Canadiens, Oilers, Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs. Last season, he played in 57 games for the Oilers, going 15-26-11 with a 3.16 goals-against average and .890 save percentage. He said he didn't know if he'd get another chance in the NHL.

"You always want to play. Everybody is in the same boat; everybody wants to play every game so all you can do is be ready when the coach calls your name," Scrivens said. "I thought I had been playing well in Bakersfield the last few weeks. It was nice to kind of be able to carry that over [in a 3-1 loss to the Panthers]. I thought I played well and gave the team a chance for the most part."

Scrivens didn't even realize he would be taking part in the Winter Classic until a Canadiens employee mentioned their schedule to him.

"Even when I found out I got traded, I looked ahead at the schedule and saw Montreal had a back-to-back coming but it didn't even click until I was already here and with the team that one of the trainers mentioned about the outdoor game," he said. "It's been a whirlwind."

Scrivens said he has gotten used to the outdoor games as he was the winning goalie with the Toronto Marlies in 2012, making 19 saves in a 7-2 win against Hamilton in an AHL outdoor game.

"I was fortunate. [This season's game in the AHL] was my second outdoor game. I played in another one in the minors, when I was with Toronto. We played Hamilton in Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario, so this will be my third outdoor game. Every time it's a great experience. It's a cool time to be with your family. You definitely consider yourself lucky each time you get the opportunity."

Follow David Satriano on Twitter: @davidsatriano

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