The Canadiens’ Christmas break came to an end on Friday afternoon when the team practised in Tampa ahead of Saturday’s game against the Lightning (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690). It marked the first time the Canadiens had been on the ice since beating the Predators last Saturday in Nashville.
Josh Gorges, who missed the Nashville game with a lower-body injury, practised with his teammates in Tampa and will be back in the lineup Saturday night. Carey Price will start in goal against the Lightning.
The players headed to the Lightning’s practice rink in suburban Brandon, Fla., after taking a three-hour charter flight from Montreal on Friday morning. Coach Michel Therrien put the players through an hour-long workout that was heavy on skating.
“For sure, tomorrow the execution won’t be 100 per cent, but it will be the same for both teams,” Therrien told reporters after practice. “But I liked the practice. The players looked good even though many of them haven’t touched a puck for five days. They looked fresh.”
It will be a busy weekend for the Canadiens, who will be in action again Sunday when they visit the Florida Panthers (5 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690). Peter Budaj will start in goal against the Panthers.
Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at Friday’s practice:
Bourque – Plekanec – Gionta
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher
Prust – White – Moen
Galchenyuk – Eller – Briere
Parros – Bournival
Murray – Bouillon
Gorges – Subban
Markov – Emelin
(Photo by Mark Humphrey/The Associated Press)