With coach Michel Therrien working towards establishing his roster for opening night, the Montreal Canadiens will see three of their top veterans in the lineup for the first time this preseason. Forwards Tomas Plekanec and Rene Bourque will see their first preseason action Saturday night, along with defenseman Andrei Markov.
The trio was held out of Montreal's first three preseason contests, in which the team posted a 1-1-1 record. The Canadiens host Carolina Saturday night at the Bell Centre just one night after defeating the Hurricanes 6-0 in a one-sided match played at the Pepsi Colisee in Quebec City.
Markov ranked fourth in scoring among defensemen last season, posting 30 points in 48 games. His eight power play goals also led all NHL defensemen. Bourque and Plekanec were important pieces on Montreal's top two lines in 2012-13, with Plekanec finishing third on the team with 33 points in 47 games and Bourque posting 13 points in 27 games.
After Saturday's contest, the Canadiens will host the New Jersey Devils on Sept. 23 before closing out their preseason schedule with a home-and-home series against the Ottawa Senators.