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Maple Leafs' Bolland returns against Canadiens

by Joe Yerdon

TORONTO -- Toronto Maple Leafs forward Dave Bolland made his return to the lineup Saturday night.

Bolland, in against the Montreal Canadiens, had been out of action since Nov. 2 when a tendon in his ankle was cut by a skate against the Vancouver Canucks.

"He's progressed along over the last three weeks to a point where the doctors feel, medically, that he's close to 100 percent ready and we just have to make a decision on the last assessment here," Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said prior to the game.

Bolland missed 56 games with the injury and was slated to play on a line with Mason Raymond and David Clarkson.

"I don't know if I'll limit his minutes. We'll see how the game goes," Carlyle said. "Obviously you'd like to get more people involved the hockey game. Everybody talks about a four-line game. Four lines this, four lines that but we haven't been really went that mode. We'd like to be able to do that on a more regular basis. With an addition of a Bolland it gives you a little bit more depth throughout your lineup with a veteran guy and it slots people more into where we envisioned them at the beginning of the year."

The Maple Leafs had to make salary cap room for Bolland to play. Forward Carter Ashton was reassigned to the American Hockey League and it is possible forward Peter Holland may have to be sent down as well.

Bolland's return comes with Toronto on a three-game losing streak. The Maple Leafs trail the Canadiens by three points for third place in the Atlantic Division and hold a two-point lead on the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first wild card.

The Canadiens would like to extend their lead on the Maple Leafs and make a run at the Tampa Bay Lightning for second place in the Atlantic.

Montreal announced goalie Carey Price will start. Goalie James Reimer likely will start for the Maple Leafs.

Here are the projected lineups for the Canadiens and Maple Leafs:


Max PaciorettyDavid DesharnaisThomas Vanek

Daniel BriereTomas PlekanecBrendan Gallagher

Rene Bourque - Alex GalchenyukBrian Gionta

Travis MoenLars Eller - Dale Weise

Andrei MarkovAlexei Emelin

Francis BouillonP.K. Subban

Douglas MurrayMike Weaver

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Jarred Tinordi, George Parros, Ryan White

Injured: Brandon Prust (upper body), Josh Gorges (hand), Michael Bournival (concussion)


James van RiemsdykTyler BozakPhil Kessel

Joffrey LupulNazem KadriNikolai Kulemin

Mason RaymondDave BollandDavid Clarkson

Troy BodieJay McClementColton Orr

Dion PhaneufCarl Gunnarsson

Jake GardinerCody Franson

Morgan RiellyTim Gleason

James Reimer

Drew MacIntyre

Scratched: Peter Holland

Injured: Paul Ranger (neck), Jonathan Bernier (lower body)

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