Daniel Brière, who was a healthy scratch for the last two games, will be back in the lineup when the Canadiens face the Ottawa Senators Saturday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690). Defenceman Raphael Diaz will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season against the Senators with Alexei Emelin returning to the lineup after being a healthy scratch for Thursday’s game in Dallas.
“For sure I am happy to be back in the lineup,” Brière told reporters in Brossard after Saturday’s morning skate. “That’s what we train for. Whether you’re 18 or 36, it’s never easy to be scratched, and it’s always a great feeling to be on the ice.”
Brière will play centre on a line with Travis Moen and Michael Bournival.
“I always feel more at ease playing centre, but that’s secondary,” Brière said. “I’m just happy to be back in the lineup.”
Ryan White, who suffered an upper-body injury during Thursday’s game in Dallas, and George Parros, who is recovering from a concussion, didn’t take part in the morning skate.
Before the start of Saturday’s game, Canadiens forward Tomas Plekanec will receive the Molson Cup for December based on the three-star selections. Plekanec, who posted 4-2-6 totals in 14 games in December, earned one first-star selection, three second-star selections and two third-star selections to finish ahead of Carey Price and David Desharnais in the Molson Cup standings.
The Canadiens will hold their annual “Open Practice” Sunday at the Bell Centre and then the Florida Panthers will visit the Bell Centre on Monday night (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at Saturday’s morning skate:
(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)