The Canadiens held an optional morning skate Tuesday in Brossard before facing the Los Angeles Kings Tuesday night at the Bell Centre (7 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
Brian Gionta, Max Pacioretty, David Desharnais, Travis Moen, Ryan White and P.K. Subban didn’t take part in the optional skate, instead doing off-ice workouts.
George Parros and Douglas Murray were the last two players to leave the ice after the morning skate, meaning they are likely to be healthy scratches. That would mean the forward lines remain the same as they were for Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres, with Francis Bouillon taking Murray’s spot beside Raphael Diaz on the blue line. Rene Bourque, who remains sidelined with an upper-body injury, celebrates his 32nd birthday on Tuesday.
The Canadiens and Kings have two of the hottest goalies in the NHL. The Canadiens’ Carey Price ranks fifth in the NHL in goals-against average (1.95) and is tied for second in save percentage (.938), while the Kings’ Ben Scrivens ranks second in GAA (1.56) and first in save percentage (.943). Scrivens took over the No. 1 goalie job in L.A. after Jonathan Quick went down with a groin injury.
However, rookie Martin Jones could get the start in goal for the Kings against the Canadiens. Jones picked up his first NHL shutout in only his second career start Saturday night in a 3-0 win over the New York Islanders. Before being called up by the Kings, the 23-year-old Jones had a 9-2-2 record with a 2.24 GAA and .927 save percentage with the Manchester Monarchs in the AHL.
In their last 14 games, the Canadiens have allowed more than two goals only once while posting an 11-1-2 record. The Canadiens haven’t lost in regulation time since dropping a 1-0 decision to the New York Rangers on Nov. 16. The Kings have gone 15 straight games without allowing more than two goals, posting a 10-1-4 record during that stretch. The Kings have a 6-1-1 road record against Eastern Conference teams this season.
“Los Angeles is a team that I respect a lot,” Canadiens coach Michel Therrien told reporters after the morning skate. “We can’t forget that they won the Cup two years ago, and I give a lot of credit to champions, teams who have gone all the way and won together. They still have the same core as the winning team two years ago, and they’re a very physical team which is good on the forecheck and puts a lot of pressure on its opponents.”
The Kings will be making their first visit to Montreal since Nov. 24, 2010.
(Photo by John Mahoney/The Gazette)