The morning after revealing that 6-foot-2 forward Max Pacioretty would be lost for three weeks with a strained left hamstring, the Montreal Canadiens received some encouraging news on the injury front.
Forward George Parros and defensemen Alexei Emelin and Douglas Murray all skated at the Bell Centre after the team's practice on Friday. The trio, who could provide some much-needed size and toughness to a lineup that just lost one of their biggest forwards in Pacioretty, has combined to play just 4:17 so far this season.
The 6-5 Parros was the only one of the three to appear in the team's home opener Oct. 1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. But he has been out since then with a concussion sustained during a fight with Toronto's Colton Orr.
Among the League's biggest hitters, Emelin has not played since Apr. 13 after undergoing surgery to repair two ligaments in his left knee following a collision with Milan Lucic of the Boston Bruins. The team does not expect the Russian back for at least another month.
Murray was signed as a free agent after splitting last season with the San Jose Sharks and Pittsburgh Penguins. But he sustained a lower-body injury during training camp and isn't expected back until at least the end of October. With defenseman Davis Drewiske out as long as six months following shoulder surgery, Montreal could use some healthy bodies on its blue line.
The Canadiens next play Saturday at home against the Nashville Predators.