The Canadiens headed out for a four-game road trip in Western Canada after practice Monday.
Max Pacioretty, who missed Saturday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers with an upper-body injury, will make the trip with the team. Pacioretty wore a no-contact jersey during the Monday morning practice at the team’s training facility in Brossard.
“We’ll see how he feels tomorrow. If he feels good to compete then, we’ll definitely put him in the lineup,” said coach Michel Therrien, adding that a player always has to be in a position to be able to compete.
Therrien said he expected the road trip – with stops in Calgary Wednesday, Edmonton Thursday, Vancouver Saturday and Winnipeg next Tuesday – will be good for the team.
“It’s always good for team chemistry, leaving early in the season and spending some time together off the ice,” the coach said.
Therrien confirmed that backup goaltender Peter Budaj will play during the western swing, although he didn’t say when.
Brandon Prust filled in at practice for Pacioretty on the line centred by David Desharnais with Daniel Brière.
Therrien acknowledged he expects more from that line.
“We want the competition level to rise,” the coach said.
Lars Eller was named the NHL’s Second Star of the Week after registering three goals and two assists in the first two games of the season. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin was named the first star, while Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was named the third star.
Here’s how the lines and defence pairings looked at Monday’s practice:
Bourque – Plekanec – Gionta
Prust – Desharnais – Briere
Galchenyuk – Eller – Gallagher
Moen – Bournival – White
Markov – Diaz
Gorges – Subban
Tinordi – Bouillon
(Photo by Dave Sidaway/The Gazette)