Coming off Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre, Canadiens coach Michel Therrien shuffled his lines at practice Wednesday morning in Brossard and announced that Peter Budaj will start in goal against the Sabres Thursday night in Buffalo (7:30 p.m., CBC, RDS, TSN Radio 690).
Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin also announced that Budaj has been signed to a two-year contract extension that will take him through the 2014-15 season. Budaj, who is earning a pro-rated $1.2 million during the lockout-shortened season, will get a slight raise to $1.4 million on the two-year, $2.8-million extension.
In eight games this season, the 30-year-old Budaj has a 6-1-1 record with a 2.17 goals-against average and .917 save percentage with one shutout. He joined the Canadiens as a free agent on July 1, 2011.
Rene Bourque, who started Tuesday’s game on the fourth line, was bumped up to join Tomas Plekanec and Brian Gionta at practice Wednesday, while Michael Ryder was with Lars Eller and Alex Galchenyuk. The David Desharnais-Max Pacioretty-Brendan Gallagher line was kept intact, while Brandon Prust dropped down to the fourth line with Travis Moen and Jeff Halpern.
The defence pairings were: Josh Gorges-P.K. Subban; Andrei Markov-Francis Bouillon; Nathan Beaulieu-Davis Drewiske; Tomas Kaberle-Yannick Weber.
“We tried something with Bourque yesterday by putting him with Pleky and Gio and we’ll continue with the same lines,” Therrien told reporters after practice.
Below is the video interview The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs did with Therrien before the start of the strike-shortened season:
(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)