The Canadiens are expected to use the same lineup that beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-5 in a shootout Thursday when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit the Bell Centre Saturday night (7 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
Carey Price, who is still recovering from a lower-body injury suffered at the Sochi Olympics, won’t dress, with Peter Budaj making his third straight start. Dustin Tokarski, called up from the Hamilton Bulldogs to replace Price, will fill the backup role again.
Price, who is listed as day-to-day, will travel with the team on next week’s West Coast road trip.
“He’s doing well right now. He’s doing better, so that’s a good sign,” coach Michel Therrien told reporters about Price after Friday’s practice in Brossard.
Michael Bournival, recovering from a concussion, took part in Saturday’s morning skate wearing a no-contact jersey and isn’t ready for game action. Ryan White, who is battling the flu, also skated but isn’t expected to play tonight. George Parros would take White’s spot. Brandon Prust is also out with an upper-body injury.
Therrien is looking forward to the Hockey Night in Canada showdown against Toronto.
“Teams understand, especially at this time of the year, that two points are crucial,” the coach said Friday. ”So I’m expecting an intense game like we always have when they’re playing us. It’s always a special time when you play the Leafs, especially on a Saturday night. They’re fun games to be part of, but both teams understand that this is a race to make it to the playoffs.”
After facing the Leafs, the Canadiens will head out on a four-game West Coast trip next week with stops in Los Angeles on Monday, Anaheim on Wednesday, Phoenix on Thursday and San Jose on Saturday.
On Friday night, the St. Louis Blues acquired goaltender Ryan Miller and forward Steve Ott from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for former Habs goalie Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, William Carrier, a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a third-round pick in 2016.
Here’s the projected Habs lineup to face the Leafs:
(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)