The Canadiens meet the Pittsburgh Penguins again tonight at the Bell Centre, on the heels of Monday’s entertaining 3-2 overtime victory for Montreal on the strength of a three-point night for Alex Kovalev.
Tonight will feature vastly different lineups for both teams, as you’ll see on the pre-game lineup sheet below.
The Canadiens team to face Pittsburgh skated at 9 am this morning, followed 45 minutes later by those who either played last night or won’t be seeing action tonight.
Look for Canadiens associate coach Doug Jarvis to be calling the shots behind the bench, assisted by Kirk Muller and Roland Melanson. Head coach Guy Carbonneau will be at press-box level, watching the action from on high.
The probable lines that Jarvis will use:
Michael Ryder – Saku Koivu – Guillaume Latendresse
Steve Bégin – Bryan Smolinski – Thomas Beauregard
Eric Manlow – Maxim Lapierre – Matt D’Agostini
Francis Lemieux – Cory Urquhart – Ryan White
Canadiens goaltender Carey Price was typically low key a few hours before tonight’s game, eager to get between the pipes to face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the rematch of Monday’s entertaining exhibition contest. He and Jaroslav Halak will split the netminding duties tonight. “It’s been a short summer,” he says, “but it seems a long time since I’ve played the game.” Clip runs 4:02.
Scrappy forward Maxim Lapierre says it doesn’t matter if his old buddy Sidney Crosby won’t be in the lineup tonight; the two rivals from their days in junior renewed acquaintances last season, most famously when Lapierre stuck the butt of his stick into Crosby’s gut on a February 1 faceoff (he addressed it in audio a day later) and the latter went down as though he’d been harpooned. Clip runs 1:23.
Free-agent newcomer Bryan Smolinski says expectations are always high when he’s come to Montreal, and tonight is no different as he makes his debut with the Canadiens. Smolinski is obviously new to town: he says Montreal traffic isn’t bad. Clip runs 6:00.
Defenceman Mathieu Carle, wearing a brace on his strained left knee, is philosophical about having suffered Monday night what he calls the first significant injury he’s sustained in his hockey career. He’ll be out for up to eight weeks. French clip runs 3:39, English clip runs 2:24.
Bruising defenceman Mike Komisarek says he thoroughly enjoyed Monday’s physical game against the Penguins and especially Sidney Crosby, with whom he was aggressively involved in the dying moments of overtime. But there was little that was exchanged over the penalty-box glass, he jokes, that he can repeat here. Clip runs 3:09.
Eager forward Christopher Higgins can’t wait to play and says he’s ready to go now, but he also understands the Canadiens medical staff’s patience in not yet letting him loose in game action following shoulder surgery this summer. Clip runs 1:56.