Most of the Canadiens enjoyed a day away form the ice Tuesday following Monday’s 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils at the Bell Centre.
Only eight players skated in Brossard Tuesday morning before the team headed to New Jersey to face the Devils again Wednesday night (7 p.m., TSN, RDS, TSN Radio 690). Goalie Peter Budaj was joined by Ryan White, Michael Bournival, Tomas Plekanec, Brandon Prust, Francis Bouillon, George Parros and Douglas Murray.
The Canadiens have a busy week with four games in six nights, starting with Monday’s win over the Devils. After the trip to New Jersey, the Canadiens return home to face the Boston Bruins Thursday night and the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night.
The Canadiens are on a roll, going 8-1-2 in their last 11 games, while allowing only 19 goals during that span. Excluding shootouts, they have not allowed more than two goals in any of those games.
Max Pacioretty has scored eight goals in the last seven games, while David Desharnais has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his last seven games. Desharnais had only one assist in his first 21 games this season.
“He’s a great playmaker,” Pacioretty told reporters after the game about his linemate Desharnais. “He’s the most generous player I know, and he’s always doing his best to make you look good on the ice.”
Goalie Carey Price, who has a 12-8-2 record with one shutout, has allowed two goals or less in his last eight starts, lowering his goals-against average to 2.00, ranking him sixth in the NHL, and his save percentage to .937, ranking him third in the NHL.
Coach Michel Therrien did not speak with the media on Tuesday, but Budaj is expected to start in goal for the Canadiens in New Jersey. Budaj, who has a 4-1-1 record with one shutout, has a 1.63 goals-against average and .939 save percentage.
The Canadiens have the second-best defensive record in the NHL, allowing an average of 2.00 goals per game. The only team with a better defensive record is the Bruins, who give up 1.96 goals per game.
On offence, the Canadiens rank 14th, scoring an average of 2.68 goals per game. The Chicago Blackhawks have the No. 1 offence, averaging 3.50 goals per game.
In other news, the Canadiens signed free-agent forward Jack Nevins to a three-year contract on Tuesday running through the 2015-16 season. In 30 games with the QMJHL’s Charlottetown Islanders, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward has 11-19-30 totals, 85 penalty minutes and is plus-7.
While there was no official media availability from the Habs on Tuesday, George Parros did speak with The Gazette’s Brenda Branswell about the Movember fund-raising campaign for men’s health issues.
Parros led Movember fundraising among participating NHL players with a tally of $8,729. The Canadiens had raised as of Tuesday afternoon $59,493 in donations.
“I was really impressed with the organization-wide support we had for Movember here,” Parros said. “Obviously, from our owner on down, Geoff Molson raised an incredible amount. Our GM (Marc Bergevin) got involved as well. Everyone was growing moustaches. We had a contest with the Canucks. We had all sorts of things going on, so it’s a great team effort here.”
(Photo by John Kenney/The Gazette)