Nathan Beaulieu won’t be taking a vacation during the NHL’s Olympic break.
The Canadiens announced on Sunday morning that the defenceman has been assigned to the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs. In 16 games with the Canadiens this season the 21-year-old has two assists, eight penalty minutes and is plus-5. In 32 games with Hamilton, he has four goals, 10 assists , 21 penalty minutes and is minus-4. Beaulieu was selected by the Canadiens in the first round (17th overall) of the 2011 NHL entry draft.
The Bulldogs visit the Toronto Marlies Sunday at 3 p.m. The game will be televised on RS360.
The Canadiens headed into the Olympic break on a high note, beating the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1 Saturday night for their third straight victory. The Habs sit in third place in the Atlantic Division with 70 points, one behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Toronto Maple Leafs also have 70 points, but have played one more game. Montreal and Toronto are six points clear of fifth-place Detroit.
Canadiens fans – and Team USA – got a scare Saturday night when Max Pacioretty crashed into the goalpost and had to be helped from the ice.
“I had trouble catching my breath,” Pacioretty told reporters after the game. “It’s a play I make often. I went in a little awkwardly and I dinged my arm and my hip, but I feel good now.
“I was very worried at first,” he added. “It was tough to breathe and I was having back spasms, but I had X-rays and there was nothing broken. I had some treatments while the game was going on and I feel better, I was in a lot of pain but I could tell t was more muscular. I don’t feel that bad right now and I have a couple of days before we start playing in Sochi.”
Carey Price and P.K. Subban, who will be part of Team Canada in Sochi, will fly to Russia on Sunday. Team Canada plays its first game at noon Thursday ET against Norway. Team USA plays Slovakia at 7:30 a.m. Thursday.
(Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)