Following Sunday’s 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders, the Canadiens returned to the ice Monday morning for a practice in Brossard.
Daniel Brière, who has been sidelined with a concussion, was skating on a line with Michael Bournival and Rene Bourque, while David Desharnais was demoted to a fourth-line rotation with Ryan White, Gabriel Dumont and George Parros. Desharnais, in the first season of a four-year, $14-million contract, has only one assist in 17 games, with only 17 shots on goal and is minus-2.
Brière could return to the lineup Tuesday when the Canadiens face the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., RDS, TSN Radio 690). A decision will be made following Tuesday’s morning skate.
Alexei Emelin was in New York to visit with a doctor Monday to check on his knee, which underwent reconstructive surgery last season. Emelin has said he is 100-per-cent healthy and after practice coach Michel Therrien told reporters the club had been in touch with the doctor and that the defenceman could be back in the lineup on the weekend.
After facing the Lightning on Tuesday, the Canadiens will visit the Blue Jackets in Columbus Friday night and then play host to the New York Rangers Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
Douglas Murray took a therapy day Monday and Travis Moen, who is battling the flu, also didn’t practise.
Carey Price will start in goal against the Lighting. Price has a 7-7-1 record with a 2.20 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage. His save percentage ranks ninth in the NHL, while his GAA ranks 14th.
Meanwhile, Max Pacioretty was among the Canadiens players upset by a tweet from new Montreal mayor Denis Coderre during Sunday’s game against the Islanders. Tweeted Coderre: “Hello? Can we get a one-way ticket to Hamilton for David Desharnais please…”
“I’m very, very upset about that,” Pacioretty told reporters after Monday’s practice. “What, do you think he’s gonna coach our team tomorrow? That’s embarrassing…
“To bring down a player — such a great person, such a great player, such a hard worker … Davey’s a true competitor and he’s a great player and a great teammate, and that’s just so uncalled for… It’s only going to make matters worse.”
Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at Monday’s practice:
(Photo by Allen McInnis/The Gazette)