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Goalie Huet cleared to play, will back up Halak @NHL

MONTREAL (AP) -Montreal goaltender Cristobal Huet was expected to be Jaroslav Halak's backup for Tuesday night's game against the Boston Bruins after being cleared by doctors to return to the lineup.

Huet, Montreal's No. 1 goalie, had been sidelined since Feb. 14, when he tore his left hamstring against the New Jersey Devils. He had surgery and was expected to miss the rest of the regular season.

"It was nice to hear that and it feels good to be back with the boys in the lineup," Huet said. "I'll just try to be ready if I'm asked to play."

Coach Guy Carbonneau hopes Huet can start a game before the playoffs begin, but is hesitant to replace Halak in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race during the final week of the regular season.

"It's a huge plus for our team," Carbonneau said. "He's ready to go and I think he's anxious to get going. He'll be on the bench, so he'll have a chance to go in the warm-up and feel the game close to the ice.

"After that, we don't have a plan. We'll go period by period and day by day with him."

Halak started seven straight games, winning six. The 21-year-old, called up from AHL Hamilton when Huet was injured, is 9-5-0 with a 3.03 goals against average.

Huet's return bumps David Aebischer from the lineup.

The Bruins planned to start Hannu Toivonen in goal after he was recalled Monday from Providence of the AHL.

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