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Preview: Canadiens at Red Wings

Detroit begins final weekend at Joe Louis Arena; Canadiens tune up for playoffs

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Correspondent

CANADIENS (46-26-9) at RED WINGS (32-36-12)

7 p.m. ET; FS-D, SN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV

 

Canadiens team scope

The Montreal Canadiens bring a diminished lineup for their final visit to Joe Louis Arena. Having clinched the Atlantic Division and a first-round matchup in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the New York Rangers, coach Claude Julien left goaltender Carey Price in Montreal, along with defensemen Andrei Markov and forwards Max Pacioretty and Alexander Radulov. The Canadiens were already short three defensemen -- Shea Weber, Alexei Emelin, Jordie Benn -- due to injuries, although Julien hopes to have all three back for the start of the playoffs. The Canadiens called up defenseman Mikhail Sergachev on an emergency basis from Windsor of the Ontario Hockey League. He will make the short trip across the Detroit River to play his fourth NHL game. Forward Alex Galchenyuk played just 12:16 in a 4-2 home loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday and hasn't scored since Feb. 23. "It is about his effort and how much he should be playing," Julien said. "The way he's playing now, we will need better from him if we're going to have success in the playoffs."

 

Red Wings team scope

Detroit Red Wings forward Andreas Athanasiou won't play against Montreal because of injury but is still hoping to play Sunday against the New Jersey Devils. "It's still sore, so I'm not going to be out there, but I really want to be on the ice when we close this place tomorrow." Forward Matt Lorito was recalled from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League, and will make his NHL debut. Forward Dylan Larkin, who grew up in suburban Detroit, is excited about the number of Red Wings alumni who will be attending the last two games in the arena's 37-year history. "I came to my first game here when I was 4 years old, and we made it to at least one game a year after that," he said. "The guys who are coming back here this weekend are the guys I grew up watching." Captain Henrik Zetterberg has a slightly different take on the reunion weekend. "I'm old enough that I've played a lot more games with the alumni than I have with the guys in the room right now," he said. Zetterberg is expected to play his 1,000th NHL game on Sunday.

 

Canadiens projected lineup

Paul Byron -- Tomas Plekanec -- Brendan Gallagher

Alex Galchenyuk -- Andrew Shaw -- Artturi Lehkonen

Dwight King -- Michael McCarron -- Andreas Martinsen

Steve Ott -- Phillip Danault - Torrey Mitchell

Brandon Davidson -- Jeff Petry

Mikhail Sergachev -- Nikita Nesterov

Nathan Beaulieu -- Brett Lernout

Charlie Lindgren

Al Montoya

Scratched : Brian Flynn, Carey Price, Andrei Markov, Alexander Radulov, Max Pacioretty

Injured : Shea Weber (lower body), Alexei Emelin (undisclosed), Jordie Benn (undisclosed)

 

Red Wings projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Henrik Zetterberg - Gustav Nyquist

Matt Lorito -- Dylan Larkin -- Justin Abdelkader

Darren Helm -- Frans Nielsen -- Riley Sheahan

Tomas Nosek -- Ben Street - Drew Miller

Danny DeKeyser -- Nick Jensen

Mike Green -- Niklas Kronwall

Robbie Russo -- Xavier Ouellet

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Scratched : None

Injured : Jonathan Ericsson (wrist), Ryan Sproul (knee), Anthony Mantha (finger), Luke Glendening (ankle), Andreas Athanasiou (undisclosed)

 

Status report

The Canadiens did not hold a morning skate. With Price unavailable, Lindgren will make his second start of the season and third of his NHL career. … Lorito will play on the second line with Larkin and Abdelkader; it's the same spot occupied by rookie Evgeny Svechnikov in the past two games. Mrazek will start against Montreal and Howard will start agaisnt the New Jersey Devils on Sunday.

 

Who's hot

Danault has five points (two goals, three assists) in his past six games. Lehkonen has nine points (five goals, four assists) in his past nine games. … Nyquist has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his past eight games.

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