Apr 9, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens center Lars Eller (81) celebrates his goal against the Washington Capitals with teammates center Alex Galchenyuk (27) and left wing Brandon Prust (8) during the first period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Lars Eller and Brandon Prust return To Practice Ahead Of Postseason Opener

Apr 4, 2014; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) deflects a shot from Montreal Canadiens center lars Eller (81) in the third period at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Canadiens defeated the Senators 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens received some favorable news from their injury list today, when both Brandon Prust and Lars Eller returned to a full practice.

Prust took part in his first practice since he suffered an upper body injury, which has been heavily speculated to be a rib injury, on March 18th. The rugged Habs winger missed 12 straight games after perhaps his best performance of the season. Prust scored a goal and an assist against the Colorado Avalanche and looked fantastic alongside Travis Moen and Dale Weise, but has not played since.

Eller has had an up and down season, unfortunately with much more down than up, and missed the last three contests with an illness. Eller appeared to have been turning things around before getting sick, scoring a goal and a pair of assists for three points in his last two games.

Having the pair of forwards back in the lineup gives the Canadiens some much needed depth with the playoffs beginning in two days. Eller leads all Canadiens forward in hits with 130 this season, and Prust is second with 92. Grit and toughness is an area the Canadiens are not known for, so getting two forwards back in the lineup who make life difficult for their opponents is extremely important at this time of year.

Alex Galchenyuk and Moen will be out for the Canadiens first round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning, and with Eller and Prust out against the New York Rangers on Saturday night, the Habs were forced to call Mike Blunden up from the Hamilton Bulldogs.

With all due respect to Blunden, the Canadiens can not afford to be dressing him in the postseason if they are going to have any success. They could have used George Parros, but a fighter who can no longer fight is not going to help the Canadiens beat the speedy and skilled Lightning squad.

The Habs also got Josh Gorges back from injury for the last three games of the regular season, meaning their entire blue line and goaltenders are all healthy heading in to game one on Wednesday night in Tampa Bay.

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