The Canadiens held an optional skate on Thursday morning in Brossard before facing the Vancouver Canucks Thursday night at the Bell Centre (7:30 p.m., TSN-HABS, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
Fourteen players and both goalies took part in the skate. Joining Carey Price and Peter Budaj on the ice were forwards Daniel Briere, Max Pacioretty, Brendan Gallagher, Lars Eller, Michael Bournival, Ryan White, Dale Weise and George Parros, along with defencemen Josh Gorges, P.K. Subban, Davis Drewiske, Nathan Beaulieu, Francis Bouillon and Douglas Murray.
The Canadiens announced Thursday afternoon that they have acquired centreman Robert Czarnik from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for Steve Quailer. Czarnik, a 6-foot, 188-pound centre, has 1-4-5 totals in 29 games this season with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs. Quailer had 1-4-5 totals in 12 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs. Czarnik will report to the Bulldogs.
Coach Michel Therrien is planning to use the same lineup against the Canucks as the one that beat the Calgary Flames 2-0 on Tuesday night. The coach added after Wednesday’s practice that he’s pleased with his team’s defence and isn’t worried about the offence because the team is getting chances and the goals will come.
Thursday’s game will be a showdown between Team Canada Olympic goalies as Carey Price faces the Canucks’ Roberto Luongo. Price told reporters in Brossard he’s not focusing on the goalie showdown or the Olympics, instead simply concentrating on the Habs’ last two games before the Olympic break.
After Thursday’s game, the Habs visit the Carolina Hurricanes Saturday night before the Olympic break begins.
“It’s not something I’m thinking about and the game tomorrow won’t have any bearing on what happens in Sochi,” Price told reporters in Brossard after practice Wednesday. “I’m concentrating on these last two games and I’ll starting thinking about Sochi when I get there.”
Tuesday’s shutout was Price’s fourth of the season and his second in the last four games. He has allowed only three goals in regulation time during that span.
Here’s how the lines and defence pairings are expected to look against the Canucks:
(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)