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Therrien continues to shuffle Canadiens' pairs

by Arpon Basu

BROSSARD, Quebec -- Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien is shuffling his deck on defense again in advance of the game Tuesday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Defenseman Douglas Murray will play with rookie Nathan Beaulieu on Montreal's third defensive pair. Beaulieu will play the right side on the pairing, something he never has done before at any level of hockey.

Beaulieu will be Murray's fourth defense partner this season after Murray spent two games playing with P.K. Subban, and he has registered his three highest ice time totals in his past three games: 19:24 on Jan. 22 against the Pittsburgh Penguins, 18:36 on Jan. 24 against the Detroit Red Wings and 18:51 in a 5-0 loss Saturday to the Washington Capitals.

In 31 games this season Murray has been on the ice for four Canadiens goals and 17 goals for the opposition in 342:36 of ice time at even strength.

"We're trying to find the right combination with our defensemen," Therrien said. "Douglas Murray is a presence out there; he brings the physical asset we are looking for from our defensemen. Nathan is a guy who moves the puck well."

Up front the Canadiens will be missing Louis Leblanc, who skated Tuesday morning but won't play because he's been sick the past two days. George Parros will take his spot on Montreal's fourth line after sitting out three straight games.

The Hurricanes did not hold a skate Tuesday after arriving in Montreal late Monday following their 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at home. The victory gave Carolina four in a row and 10 wins in 13 games, or the opposite of a Canadiens team coming off four straight lopsided losses.

Here is what the lineups could look like Tuesday:


Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin

Jeff Skinner - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm

Drayson Bowman - Manny Malhotra - Nathan Gerbe

Tuomo Ruutu - Riley Nash - Radek Dvorak

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk

Ron Hainsey - John-Michael Liles

Mike Komisarek - Jay Harrison

Anton Khudobin

Justin Peters

Scratched: Brett Bellemore

Injured: Patrick Dwyer (lower body), Cam Ward (lower body)


Lars Eller - Tomas Plekanec - Brian Gionta

Max Pacioretty - David Desharnais - Brendan Gallagher

Rene Bourque - Daniel Briere - Brandon Prust

Travis Moen - Michael Bournival - George Parros

Josh Gorges - P.K. Subban

Andrei Markov - Alexei Emelin

Douglas Murray - Nathan Beaulieu

Carey Price

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Francis Bouillon, Raphael Diaz

Injured: Louis Leblanc (illness), Alex Galchenyuk (hand), Ryan White (upper body), Davis Drewiske (shoulder)

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