The Canadiens delivered some bad news at practice Monday: defenceman Alexei Emelin is out for the rest of the season after suffering a torn ligament in his left knee as a result of a collision with Boston’s Milan Lucic during Saturday’s victory over the Bruins.
In 38 games this season, the 26-year-old defenceman posted 3-9-12 totals, 33 penalty minutes and was plus-2. He also leads the Canadiens in hits with 110 – 42 more than Brandon Prust, who ranks second with 68.
The Canadiens got more bad news at the end of practice when Max Pacioretty left early with a lower-body injury. He’s listed as day-to-day.
Meanwhile, Rene Bourque, who has been sidelined by a concussion since Feb. 22, took to the ice with his teammates for practice in Brossard, skating on a line with Jeff Halpern and Travis Moen as the Canadiens prepared to face Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals Tuesday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690). Bourque should be in the lineup Tuesday.
Defenceman Nathan Beaulieu, who was called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs on the weekend, was on the ice for practice and will take Emelin’s spot in the lineup.
The other forward lines at practice were: Ryder-Plekanec-Gionta; Pacioretty-Desharnais-Gallagher; Galchenyuk-Eller-Prust.
Defence pairings were: Gorges-Subban; Markov-Drewiske; Beaulieu-Bouillon; Kaberle-Weber.
After practice, Raphael Diaz, who has been sidelined since Feb. 25 with a concussion, skated with strength and conditioning coach Pierre Allard.
The Canadiens will be facing a red-hot Ovechkin Tuesday night. Ovechkin scored twice in a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday, giving him 16 goals in 14 games. He also pulled even with the Lightning’s Steven Stamkos for the NHL lead in goals with 25.
Washington has won four straight and eight of its last 10 games.
(Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette)