Max Pacioretty is scheduled to miss three weeks with a hamstring injury suffered in the victory against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday. With him out of the lineup, Michel Therrien has elected to return to the ineffective duo of Briere and Desharnais which weakens the Canadiens lineup tremendously.
Plekanec stepped up his offense in Pacioretty’s absence with a game winner and an empty netter to seal the deal against Columbus. It is time for the small veterans (Desharnais, Briere, Gionta) to follow Plekanec’s lead and help the Habs win.
The young line of Eller, Galchenyuk and Gallagher started the season on fire, but have cooled dramatically in the past three games. They have combined for just one point in the three games, and that was an own goal by the Vancouver Canucks that was credited to Eller. Luckily, the Canadiens have been able to win all three games, but the youngsters are going to have to step up their offense once again with Pacioretty out of action.
It is yet to announced who will dress on defense, but if the flip-flopping of rookies continues as it has in the past, Jarred Tinordi will take a seat for a game and Nathan Beaulieu will draw into the lineup. Against a low scoring, but defensively sound team with great goaltending, it makes perfect sense to use the offensive minded Beaulieu, as scoring chances will be tough to create, and the defenders will not be overwhelmed by Nashville’s attack.
Game time is 7:00 PM EST at the Bell Center.