The Canadiens hit the ice at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at the Centre Sportif Lac-Mégantic for a practice in the town that was devastated this summer by a train-derailment disaster.
The arena, which holds about 1,000 people, was packed when the Canadiens started practice without Max Pacioretty on the ice. Pacioretty appeared to suffer an upper-body injury during the team’s season-opening 4-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre and took a therapy day. There was no update on the condition of George Parros, who suffered a concussion during that game in a fight with Colton Orr. The Canadiens said on Wednesday that he was out indefinitely after being released from hospital.
Before practice, the Canadiens held a private session with Lac-Mégantic mayor Colette Roy-Laroch and city council. After practice the Canadiens were to head outside the arena to sign autographs for fans.
“We wanted to show the people of Lac-Mégantic we support them,” David Desharnais said. “It was nice to see so many smiles today.”
Said Francis Bouillon: “Driving three hours to be here was nothing. We’re proud to be able to be here. It was a good day for everyone.”
Brandon Prust didn’t make the trip to Lac Megantic because of family reasons.
Here’s what the lines and defence pairings looked like at practice:
(Photo by Dario Ayala/The Gazette)