When the Canadiens play the Phoenix Coyotes tonight, they’ll have the same lineup which blanked the Ottawa Senators 3-0 Saturday night.
But coach Jacques Martin expects to make an important lineup change this weekend when defenceman Andrei Markov receives clearance to play. Martin said Markov has been cleared for contact and has been a regular part of the team’s practices for the past week. He said all that remains is a final clearance from the team doctors.
Martin said fitness shouldn’t be a concern for Markov, who has been recovering from off-season knee surgery. Markov’s return will provide a boost not only on defence but also on the power play which ranks last in the NHL. The Canadiens have one power-play goal in 24 opportunities for a success rate of 4.2 per cent.