Canadiens captain Saku Koivu leads a rush up ice during practice today.
Canadiens defenceman Ryan O’Byrne was struck in the face by a puck near the end of this morning’s practice in Verdun and went to a local hospital for stitches and further evaluation.
Maxim Lapierre’s shot deflected off O’Byrne’s stick and hit him in the face, forcing him to leave the ice bleeding from the cut.
O’Byrne wasn’t the only one dinged this morning. Goalie Jaroslav Halak was cut beneath the right eye by the stick of Robert Lang in a goalmouth scramble, Lang’s stick piercing Halak’s cage. A trip to the bench and quick repairs by athletic therapist Nick Addey-Jibb sent him back into ation.
Christopher Higgins and Mike Komisarek did not practice, undergoing a little preventive maintenance back at the Bell Centre. Both are expected to skate tomorrow. Georges Laraque was unable to skate, according to head coach Guy Carbonneau. The doubt increases that he will be able to play in Friday’s season-opener as hoped.
Kyle Chipchura filled in on a line with Saku Koivu and Alex Tanguay, though very little line practice took place, while defenceman Alex Henry, on waivers, skated with the team, his first full-team practice in a few days as he rehabs a back injury.