The Montreal Canadiens head to Quebec City tonight, as they continue their pre-season, with a game against the Carolina Hurricanes at the Colisee Pepsi.
The Canadiens have lost both of their exhibition games thus far, falling 4-3 to the Buffalo Sabres, and losing 6-3 to the Boston Bruins last week. After making several cuts, the competition is getting more interesting at Canadiens camp, with only 38 players remaining.
The Canadiens suffered injuries to three defensemen over the past few days. Douglas Murray, Davis Drewiske and Francis Bouillon are all out of the lineup, and Darren Dietz has been recalled from the Hamilton Bulldogs after being released on Monday.
The Canadiens lines from their skate this morning, and likely for tonight’s contest are:
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Collberg
Prust – Galchenyuk – Thomas
Bournival – Holland – McCarron
Tarnasky – Dumont – Blunden
Gorges – Subban
Tinordi – Pateryn
Dietz – Nygren
There are several key storylines to keep an eye on tonight. It will be interesting to see Galchneyuk playing at his natural center position. If everyone is healthy, Galchenyuk will likely begin the season on the wing, but an injury to Plekanec, Eller or Desharnais, would move Alex back to center, and this is a chance for him to show he can handle that role.
Sebastien Collberg was an early second round selection of the Montreal Canadiens in 2012, and he gets a chance to off his offensive skills on a line with Desharnais and Pacioretty tonight. Collberg will likely head back to Sweden for the season if he does not make the Habs roster, If he is to make the roster, it would not be in a fourth line role, so tonight marks a great opportunity for him to show he belongs in the NHL already.
Michael McCarron gets to play in his second game as a Canadien, and will hope for the same success he had in game one. He is on a line with Michael Bournival once again, who scored two goals against the Sabres last weekend, with McCarron assisting on both.
With injuries mounting on the Canadiens blue line, there could be an opening or two for young defenders to begin the season. This battle begins tonight, as Tinordi, Pateryn, Dietz and Nygren all look to make an early impression on management.
The Hurricanes have a strong Canadien component on their roster. Former Canadiens Mike Komisarek and Aaron Palushaj will suit up for Carolina tonight, and former Habs center, and coach Kirk Muller will be behind the bench for Carolina.
The two teams will meet up once again Saturday