The Canadiens practiced Tuesday before boarding their flight for Pittsburgh and their third meeting with the Penguins Wednesday.
The Canadiens are playing two games in 24 hours and under normal circumstances Carey Price would be asked to take on Pittsburgh and Peter Budaj would follow up in Thursday’s Tampa Bay game. But, Price is going through a rough patch and, after finishing up both the Toronto and Philadelphia games Budaj is being asked to help cure a malaise that has settled around Price and the Canadiens as a whole, by playing against the Penguins. Budaj is 7-0-0 in his last eight appearances. He allowed one goal in his one period in relief of Price against Philadelphia Monday.
Michael Ryder didn’t practice Tuesday opting for a therapy day.
Brandon Prust was back on the ice after missing the Philadelphia game. He appeared to re-injure his shoulder or suffer a left elbow injury when checked by Toronto’s Cody Franson in the third period Saturday. With Ryder unavailable, Prust skated with Eller and Galchenyuk.
Ryan White will face an in-person hearing before the Department of Player Safety Wednesday at 10.00am over that match penalty against the Flyers Monday night. Ominously, the face-to-face hearing gives the league the right to suspend for more than five games. This was an illegal check to the head of Flyers defenceman Kent Huskins who did not return to the game. Anticipating a suspension, Michel Therrien had Mike Blunden skating with fourth liners Jeff Halpern and Travis Moen at the morning practice.
On defence, it’s possible Yannick Weber will replace Nathan Beaulieu. If so, it will be his first start in 18 games and only his third of the season. Raphael Diaz skated with the team again Tuesday but has not been cleared for contract and was not on the Pittsburgh trip.
Practice lines Tuesday
Bourque – Plekanec – Gionta
Pacioretty – Desharnais – Gallagher
Galchenyuk – Eller – Prust
Moen – Halpern – Blunden
Gorges – Subban
Markov – Bouillon
Weber – Drewiske
Unavailable – Ryder. Extra – Dumont, White, Diaz