CANADIENS (22-11-2) at HURRICANES (10-21-4)
TV: RDS, SNE, FS-CR
Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal was activated off injured reserve and will make his season debut Monday against the Montreal Canadiens.
Staal missed the first 35 games after sustaining a fractured fibula in his right leg during a preseason game.
"No matter how many games you've played there are going to be some nerves," Staal told the Raleigh News & Observer. "It's a fast League and I'm jumping back in."
Since getting traded to Carolina before the 2012-13 season, he has played primarily with his brother Eric, the Hurricanes captain. And that's where he'll play Monday, centering the top line between Eric, who has 19 points in 30 games, and Nathan Gerbe.
"Hopefully we can get the big man going," Jordan told the Hurricanes website when asked about playing with Eric, who will skate in his 800th game, becoming only the third player in franchise history to do so.
Forward Jiri Tlusty also returns after missing the past seven games with an upper-body injury. Between Tlusty, Staal, and Alexander Semin, Carolina has been without a group of players it expected to help carry the offense this season for extended periods of time.
"You don't ever want to be sidelined and I'm excited to be back," Tlusty said, according to the Raleigh News & Observer. "I think Jordan is more excited than I am and it's going to be fun. We just have to go out there and do what we do best."
The Canadiens, who haven't played in a week, showed the same lines at their morning skate used in their game prior to the holiday break against the New York Islanders.
Here are the projected lineups:
Max Pacioretty - Alex Galchenyuk - Brendan Gallagher
Sven Andrighetto - Tomas Plekanec - Jiri Sekac
David Desharnais - Lars Eller - PA Parenteau
Brandon Prust - Manny Malhotra - Dale Weise
Andrei Markov - P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin - Sergei Gonchar
Nathan Beaulieu - Tom Gilbert
Scratched: Mike Weaver, Bryan Allen, Michael Bournival
Eric Staal - Jordan Staal - Nathan Gerbe
Jeff Skinner - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm
Chris Terry - Victor Rask - Jiri Tlusty
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer
Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk
Tim Gleason - Michal Jordan
Ron Hainsey - Brett Bellemore
Scratched: Tim Gleason, Zach Boychuk
Injured: John-Michael Liles (illness), Alexander Semin (upper body), Andrej Nestrasil (upper body)
Status report: Jordan Staal missed the first 35 games of the season recovering from his injury. He sat out one game in his first four seasons and played in 82 games five times out of eight seasons. Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said Liles was questionable after the defenseman did not skate because of flu-like symptoms. Carolina assigned forward Brendan Woods to Charlotte of the American Hockey League on Sunday to make room for Staal.
Who's hot: Price made 37 saves Tuesday in a 3-1 win against the Islanders. He is 5-1-0 in his past six starts with a 1.60 goals-against average and .974 save percentage, and hasn't allowed more than two goals since a Dec. 6 loss against the Dallas Stars. … Eric Staal has 20 goals and 37 points in 37 games against the Canadiens.