Rene Bourque, who has been sidelined since suffering an upper-body injury on Dec. 2, took part in the Canadiens’ morning skate Tuesday in Brossard as the team prepared to face the Phoenix Coyotes Tuesday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
After the skate, Bourque confirmed to reporters that he will be in the lineup against the Coyotes, skating on a line with Travis Moen and Brandon Prust.
“We will start him on the fourth line and gauge his progress,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien told reporters. “Physically, he is ready to go, it’s just a matter of him getting used to the pace of the game, considering the fact that we haven’t had too much practice time recently due to our busy schedule.”
Francis Bouillon and Ryan White are expected to be the healthy scratches, while George Parros remains sidelined with a concussion. Therrien said that Parros has been working out on a stationary bike and hasn’t been feeling any concussion-related symptoms.
Carey Price will start in goal for the Canadiens.
Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at the morning skate:
Galchenyuk – Plekanec – Gionta
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher
Bournival – Eller – Brière
Bourque – Prust – Moen
Markov – Subban
Gorges – Emelin
Murray – Diaz
Tuesday’s game will mark the return of former Hab Mike Ribeiro to Montreal. In 32 games this season, the 33-year-old Ribeiro has 9-17-26 totals – giving him more points than any Canadiens player - and is minus-2. P.K. Subban leads the Canadiens in scoring with 4-21-25 totals.
Ribeiro joined the Coyotes as a free agent last summer, signing a four-year, $22-million contract. Ribeiro spent the 2012-13 season with the Washington Capitals, posting 13-36-49 totals in 48 games, after spending the previous six seasons with the Dallas Stars. In 817 career regular-season games, Ribiero has 195-440-635 totals.
The Canadiens traded Ribeiro to Dallas on Sept. 30, 2006, along with a sixth-round draft pick (Matthew Tassone) in the 2008 NHL entry draft, in exchange for Janne Niinimaa and a fifth-round draft pick (Andrew Conboy) in 2007.
The Coyotes have not played in Montreal since Oct. 25, 2010 and the two teams have not met at all since Nov. 10, 2011.
(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)